Be a PAL leader

Reasons to take part

PAL Leaders play an important role in helping students to help themselves - whether these students are brand new to the University or just in need of additional support to get the most of their UWE Bristol experience.

Becoming a PAL Leader has many benefits. You can:

  • develop the soft skills employers look for through planning, organising, time management and liaising with students and staff
  • be equipped with mentoring and facilitation techniques
  • connect with other students, which will help you form a community during your degree
  • undertake the ILM Level 3 Award in Mentoring which will help you stand out to employers when you graduate
  • have the opportunity to attend a series of additional PAL events and conferences, both internally and externally
  • receive payment in return for your work.


The role of a PAL Leader depends on the scheme you are applying for. It is important that you think at this stage about how you will manage your time to ensure that you are able to continue your role throughout the academic year. If you are in your final year or are juggling other commitments alongside your studies, we would strongly recommend you opt for the Resilient U role.

Please note that PAL sessions may continue to be facilitated online in 2021/22 or we may take blended approach with some sessions being online and some in person on campus.

PAL roles

Academic PAL

PAL Leaders are trained as facilitators in order to run study support sessions. Sessions are normally timetabled, group based and delivered on a weekly or fortnightly basis through the autumn and spring semesters. PAL Leaders use techniques to encourage collaborative learning in a relaxed and friendly environment to enable students to connect more with their course materials and peers, and boost their learning and study techniques. PAL Leaders are not expected to teach or instruct.

Resilient U

PAL Leaders are trained as workshop facilitators by the PAL and Wellbeing teams to run discussion-based sessions for peers seeking support and guidance about developing their personal resilience and coping strategies. PAL Leaders introduce peers to the concept of resilience and explore the seven skills needed to be able to adapt to stressful situations. You will be trained to talk about resilience in a practical way without sharing your own story, by working through a case study and discussing how resilience could be applied effectively.

Testimonial from a current Resilient U PAL Leader

Being a Resilient U PAL Leader has provided me with exciting opportunities and skills which I didn’t have this time last year. I’ve always enjoyed trying to support other students because mental health is important to me and my aim was to ensure that students all felt they had a place to talk freely. To which, throughout this year I have been able to run intuitive sessions dedicated to helping other students whilst providing me with confidence, leadership and team working skills. It has also enabled me to make new friends within the department and provided me with new connections within the university; which I never would have made without this role. In addition, I was able to develop my organisational skills which I have then applied to my own degree course and has helped me plan, prepare and conduct my work in a productive way.

Overall, my experience of Resilient U has been fantastic, I have received so much support whilst being a Resilient U PAL Leader and the team are just wonderful! If you are someone who wants to develop useful skills such as organisation, teamwork and listening whilst supporting other students on topics around mental health, then I would thoroughly recommend this role for you. Get applying!


You must have the right to work in the UK and be a current UWE Bristol student to apply to become a PAL Leader.

You must also apply to a specific scheme.

If you are applying to support modules, programmes or within a technical area, you must check whether you are eligible.

List of PAL schemes for 2021/22 (PDF)

Qualities and skills required

We expect all PAL Leaders to demonstrate the following personal qualities, which will be assessed through the recruitment and selection process:

  • empathy
  • resilience
  • enthusiasm
  • reliability.

In addition, we are looking for PAL Leaders who will be able to demonstrate all, or most of the following skills:

  • good listening and communication skills
  • experience of supporting and helping others
  • initiative and resourcefulness
  • effective self-organisational and time management skills.

How to apply

Our 2021/22 PAL Leader application window has now closed.

Training and support

You will receive both asynchronous training through online workbooks and synchronous training, either through real-time webinars or face-to-face on campus, before starting your role.

This is usually in August and/or early September, depending on the role you have applied for. Please check the training dates on the application form before submitting your application, as attendance at this set training programme is mandatory. 

PAL Leaders are directly managed by the PAL Office and every PAL scheme has a dedicated PAL Coordinator who is a UWE Bristol member of staff. PAL Coordinators support the specific scheme, providing ongoing advice and guidance to PAL Leaders about content, as appropriate. Your initial expectations meeting with your PAL Coordinator will be scheduled before delivering your first session.

You will also receive mentoring support from a dedicated Senior PAL Leader who has previously had experience in a PAL leading role. You will also be observed by your Senior PAL Leader at least once per semester to receive feedback on how to build your strengths and address areas for development.

At group debriefs, you will have the opportunity to share good practice, get ideas for how to improve your sessions from other Leaders and address any challenges.

Payment and hours

PAL Leaders are employed as casual workers at Grade A by the University. In 2020/21 the hourly rate was £9.30 per hour, plus holiday pay.

PAL Leaders receive a flat fee for attendance at the set training programme. Attendance at debriefs and meetings with your PAL Coordinator are not remunerated.

The hours of work are variable depending on the scheme you apply for. Typically, PAL Leaders can expect between one and three hours per week during term time.