Be a PAL leader

Reasons to take part

PAL Leaders play an important role in helping students to help themselves – whether 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:

  • 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 at UWE Bristol and externally
  • receive payment in return for your work.

We truly value diversity and inclusivity at UWE Bristol and aim to be a university where all people can thrive, succeed, and belong.

In peer assisted learning (PAL) we particularly encourage applications from students who are likely to be under-represented. This includes students from Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic heritages, disabled students including neurodivergent students, mature students, LGBTQIA+ students, first in family to go to university students, parents, carers, and students who access UWE Cares.

We have a number of inclusive recruitment practices so please contact the PAL team at pal@uwe.ac.uk if you would like to discuss different formats for submitting your PAL Leader application.

Roles

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 Workshop PAL leader role.

Please note that most PAL sessions take place in person on campus but some sessions are online.

PAL roles

Programme PAL

PAL Leaders are trained as facilitators and mentors to run small, guided, group study sessions aimed primarily at Foundation and Year 1 students. Sessions are normally embedded into student timetables and are delivered on a weekly or fortnightly basis through the autumn and spring semesters.

In some programmes PAL support consists of PAL Leaders mentoring students during taught workshops, seminars, open studios or lab sessions. In these contexts, the PAL Leader supports learning by circulating the room and mentoring students one-to-one or in small groups. For example in the Architecture Design Studio, Life Drawing or Fine Art, sessions are focused on the process, experimentation and peer review of work.

PAL Leaders use techniques to encourage collaborative learning in a relaxed and friendly environment aiming to help students to connect more with their course materials and peers, and boost their learning and study techniques. PAL Leaders are not expected to teach, instruct or act as teaching assistants.

Workshop PAL

PAL Leaders are trained as workshop facilitators to run themed, discussion-based sessions that aren't linked to a particular programme but which support academic and life skills development. These workshops are normally open to a wide range of students and can be one-off or part of a series.  

Wellbeing PAL

PAL Leaders engage students in finding balance. They explore the coping strategies and skills needed to adapt to stressful situations and to look after wellbeing. You will be trained to talk about wellbeing in a practical way without sharing your own story. You do this by working through a case study and discussing how practical tools for self care can be applied effectively. Wellbeing PAL is supported by UWE Bristol's Wellbeing Team.

Espresso Science PAL

Aimed at students studying applied sciences, PAL Leaders provide practical support and guidance to small groups in the lab on a wide range of topics, from lab etiquette, pipetting and microscopy to graph drawing and conversion techniques.

Academic Skills PAL

PAL Leaders are trained to support and guide peers in their academic skills development, from time management and group work to academic integrity and presentation skills. You will be trained to enable students to share ideas and concerns, as well as provide top tips in a collaborative learning environment – online and on campus.

Eligibility

  • You must have the right to work in the UK and be a current UWE Bristol student when applying to become a PAL Leader and for the entire academic year of 2024/25.
  • Please do not apply if you are not based at Frenchay, Glenside or City Campus between September 2024 and May 2025. Most of our PAL schemes are facilitated on campus rather than online.
  • If applying for Programme PAL, you are in the year above or in your final year of the same undergraduate programme.
  • You must also apply to a specific scheme on the application form so please select your College from the list to see if your programme is included.
  • If your undergraduate programme does not appear on the list, please email the PAL team at pal@uwe.ac.uk for further information.
  • If you wish to apply for two different roles i.e. Academic Skills PAL and Workshop PAL, please complete two separate application forms.
  • We welcome applications from postgraduate students for Wellbeing PAL, Espresso Science PAL and Academic Skills PAL.

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.

We are also 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 online application form is open from Monday 5 February until the Sunday 5 May 2024.

PAL Leader online application form

If you require the application form in an accessible format, please email pal@uwe.ac.uk.

Please note that we are unable to accept any applications or CVs via email unless you have requested an alternative format.

Before applying please do the following.

  • Check that you are available between 2 September 2024 to 13 September 2024 for mandatory training. If your application is successful, this training will take place on an allocated day during this two-week period at Frenchay, Bower Ashton or Glenside campus.
  • Please familiarise yourself with the PAL Leader job description (pdf) and our application guidance (pdf)
  • Attend one of our information sessions during the application period to find out more about the roles, get guidance on how to complete the application form and ask the PAL team any questions about the vacancies. Information sessions will be advertised in the events diary.
Max PAL Leader

"Becoming a PAL Leader is about more than the added income, ability to undertake the ILM L3 in Effective Mentoring, or having some experience on your CV. It’s about having fun and making an impact with students who are going through the same thing you have just been through."

Max, PAL leader
Read Max's blog
Max PAL Leader

Max PAL leader

Training and support

Before starting your role, you will receive asynchronous training through online workbooks (normally in August) and synchronous training in person, on campus in early September, before term starts.

Please check the training dates on the application form before submitting your application, as attendance at this set training programme is mandatory.

PAL Coordinators

PAL Leaders are directly managed by the PAL Team 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.

Senior PAL Leaders

You will also receive mentoring support from a dedicated Senior PAL Leader who has previous experience in a PAL leading role. You will 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.

Monthly group debriefs are led by your Senior PAL Leader and give you 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 B by the University. From January 2024 the hourly rate is £12.00 per hour, plus holiday pay on the total hours worked per month.

PAL sessions are normally 60 minutes, which includes time allocated to complete your register and timesheet.

PAL Leaders receive a flat fee for training, which covers both the asynchronous and synchronous elements.

PAL Leaders are rewarded for session preparation, promotional activity and engagement with their Senior PAL Leader and PAL Coordinator. 

The hours of work are variable depending on the scheme. Typically, PAL Leaders can expect between one and two hours of sessions per week during term time. You will not be allocated more than three hours of sessions per week.

"Being a Resilience 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. Overall, my experience of Resilience PAL has been fantastic, I have received so much support 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!"

Alice, Resilience PAL Leader

Alice Resilience PAL Leader

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