A PAT for every student

Every student at the University of the Highlands and Islands, whether on a SQA (HN) programme, an undergraduate or post graduate or as a life-long learner is entitled to an assigned Personal Academic Tutor (PAT). In order that all students receive equivalent support irrespective of where or how they are studying a common framework for PATs was approved by the University in 2012 with the PAT role being formally established in that year.

In 2018 there were over 500 Personal Academic Tutors in the University covering all HE courses and supporting students across the highlands and islands and far beyond. The number of registered PATs continues to increase year on year.

Audio: Andy Fraser talks about being a PAT

Andy Fraser talks about being a PAT (3 minutes 15 seconds)
Download a transcript of this audio/recording

Students tell us

The vital support that PATs provide is highlighted in these comments from students in BA Child and Youth Studies.

'Hats off to the team they were Brilliant!'

'The support was fantastic!'

'Encouragement and advice I have received from the team from the team at UHI has been fantastic and I hope as I go forward I can build on the foundations you have given me'

Map showing locations of the university campuses

The National Student Survey (NSS)

'The National Student Survey (NSS) is a national survey which has been conducted by Ipsos MORI annually since 2005. It gathers opinions from final year undergraduates (i.e. HND/3rd Year Degree/4th Year Hons) on the quality of their courses. Aimed at current final year students, the survey asks undergraduates to provide honest feedback on what it has been like to study their course at their institution as well as areas that they feel could be improved. The NSS is conducted on an annual basis with The University of the Highlands and Islands taking part for the first time in 2013' (2014: 5).


About these resources

About these resources

The University’s Student Support team and the Educational Development Unit (EDU), have worked together to create this resource of interactive guidance materials, designed to support Personal Academic Tutors throughout the university colleges and research institutes carry out their duties and responsibilities effectively.

This resource is designed to be viewed online, but it can also be downloaded as a PDF document. . A number of small sections can be printed separately and these are indicated by the print icon. It can be viewed on any device type or operating system. A headset and speakers will be required for the audio and video content. The resources have been structured around the four broad roles of a Personal Academic Tutor:

  • Academic advice
  • Signposting and referrals
  • Online module selection
  • Student withdrawal



The resources have been developed with the support of many staff outside of the project team including many contributions from existing PATs. The project team are proud of the fact that the resource that has emerged from current practice at UHI.

A number of staff contributed to the content of these resources – some provided source content; some provided advice and guidance and others reviewed the content for quality; accuracy and appropriateness.

Members of the project team were

Ian Horne – Ian.Horne@uhi.ac.uk
Evelyn Campbell Evelyn.Campbell.ic@uhi.ac.uk
Matt Sillers Matt.Sillers.ic@uhi.ac.uk
Valerie Innes Valerie.Innes@uhi.ac.uk
Heather Fotheringham Heather.Fotheringham@uhi.ac.uk

If you have any queries about the PAT role please contact:

Ian Horne - Ian.Horne@uhi.ac.uk 01595 771251
Michaela Gilmore Michaela.Gilmore@uhi.ac.uk 01463 27927

Encountering a problem

Encountering a problem

If you encounter any problems in using the material, please contact the EDU (email: edu@uhi.ac.uk) stating:

  • The name of the resource
  • The nature of the problem
  • The section of the material where the problem occurred
  • Which internet browser you are using.  This information can be found by going to - http://detectmybrowser.com/



UHI provides links to external sources of information and may refer to specific Web sites, products, processes or services within this resource. Such references are examples and are not endorsements and whilst every effort is taken to ensure the accuracy of information provided UHI is not responsible for any of the content or guidance. You are advised to exercise caution.

Information on social media websites may also be provided. Staff using social media websites must comply with the University’s social media policy. It is recommended that you fully understand the terms and conditions of use before using these sites and that you take steps to protect personal or sensitive data.




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PDF Version

PDF Version

A PDF version of this resource is available