How PAL can help you

Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) is a student-to-student support scheme aimed to support students with their transition to University and contribute to the wider student experience.

If you are a Foundation, Year 1 or top-up student, and your course has PAL, your sessions are intended to help you:

  • increase your understanding of what is expected of you as a UWE Bristol student
  • settle in more quickly to university life
  • connect more with your course and other students
  • feel part of a learning community
  • boost your learning strategies, and adjust your study habits to meet the requirements of university study
  • gain a deeper understanding of course content and expectations
  • increase your academic performance.

How to get PAL support

  1. Step 1

    Find out whether your course has PAL and how your sessions are timetabled. You can also listen out for 'PAL' during induction week.

    If your course isn’t listed, please contact PAL or look at this web page for other opportunities, such as becoming a UWE Cares Mentor or Resilient U PAL Leader.

  2. Step 2

    Information on how to get support will be available closer to the time.

  3. Step 3

    Sessions will be run by your PAL leader. Your group will be small enough to work together, sharing ideas, problem solving, completing tasks and checking understanding. Sessions at the start of the year are usually focused on settling in, getting orientated to the campus and time management. However, the later sessions are more linked to content that you have covered in lectures, seminars or workshops. You can also receive support and advice on exam techniques, assignment/project preparation, referencing, presentation skills and how to act on lecturer feedback.

    How to make the most of your session

    • Use your first session to engage with your PAL Leader.
    • Let your PAL Leader know in advance of each session the topics you would like to explore with your peers. Remember: PAL is a place where all students can propose the content of a session and can steer sessions towards topics that they really want to cover away from tutors and lecturers.
    • Actively participate in the group discussions.
    • Ask your PAL Leader about learning strategies.
    • Be willing to share your ideas, ask those 'silly' questions and reflect on your own learning.
    • PAL is about gaining a deeper understanding of the subject matter of your course and creating informal learning communities. So even if you aren't struggling, attend your PAL sessions - you'll get something out of each session.
    • Give your PAL Leader constructive feedback.
    • Do not expect to be taught. PAL Leaders are facilitators and mentors, not teachers or content experts. They will help you to help yourself.
    • Try to attend sessions regularly, but don't worry if you can't. You can go along again at any point during the academic year.

More about PAL

Support for Year 2, Year 3 or postgraduate students

Our peer-led Resilient U workshops are open to all students across the University.

These student-led interactive workshops help you adopt a proactive approach to building the confidence you need to succeed at university and in life. You will have the opportunity to work through a case study so you can talk about resilience in a practical way without necessarily sharing your own story. You will also explore the skills needed for resilience and self-empowerment so that you are more able to tackle the challenges that come your way.

For additional information about the concept of resilience and the content of these workshops, please visit the developing resilience guidance.

One-to-one peer support

If you are a care leaver, an estranged student or a student carer starting your undergraduate study, and are known to UWE Cares, you can benefit from the one-to-one support of a student PAL Mentor.

Your trained PAL Mentor is a Year 2 or 4 student who can listen, signpost you to a range of services and help you make the most of the many opportunities UWE Bristol offers, including the UWE Bristol Futures Award. Your mentor will help you settle into university life by being a friendly point of contact throughout your first year, and your mentoring meetings are usually confidential.

UWE Cares will offer you a student PAL mentor during the summer if you say you are a care leaver, an estranged student or a student carer. If this sounds like you but you have not heard about the scheme then please contact UWE Cares at UWECares@uwe.ac.uk. Find out more information about UWE Cares and the support they offer.

"It makes you realise you're not the only one struggling, it helps to consolidate knowledge or learn it in a different way that makes more sense."

PAL participant, First year

PAL participant First year

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