This article will tell you more information about Academic Skills unit (ASK) tutorials, including what they are, what to expect and how to book.

What happens in one-to-one tutorials

Lecturers at the Academic Skills Unit (ASK) offer confidential tuition which is personalised for each student. Through discussion and reflection on previous academic work, we help students:

  • Improve their understanding of thinking and writing that foster success
  • Discover practical steps for improving academic performance

Most tuition is offered through one-to-one sessions, although ASK can offer small group tuition where helpful.

When you first contact the team we will ask you for a little information about yourself and the other support you may have tried such as faculty learning support/ development tutors, or online resources – as these may be a support in the first instance.

Who can book a tutorial

All students currently studying at the University of Portsmouth are eligible to request a one-to-one with ASK. See information on how to request a tutorial below.

Students may refer themselves to ASK (or they may be recommended to book by a subject lecturer or personal tutor).

Tutorial length and location

For campus-based students, tutorials are typically one hour long and are held in the ASK offices in the Nuffield Centre.

The number of tutorials and focus will vary according to need and are always negotiated and agreed with the student.

Distance-learning students may be supported by telephone, e-mail or other software, as agreed by the tutor and student once initial contact has been made.

How to book a one-to-one tutorial

Tutorials can be requested by the following methods:

Any student can refer themselves directly to the ASK service. The recommendation to use ASK may come from a subject lecturer or personal tutor, your own faculty learning development /support tutors or other student support services.

ASK aims to offer an appointment date within 10 working days from the first contact. Often students are seen earlier than this.

If your reason to book a tutorial may be better met by another service, you will be advised to approach that service within 24 working hours of your contact to get the best possible support for you.

What happens in my first tutorial

In the first session the ASK lecturer/ tutor will normally find out why the student has come to the service. The admin team may ask you to prepare for this meeting, for example if you would like to develop your writing skills, you may be asked to provide a piece of work (that has been marked) at least 48 working hours before your appointment, so the ASK tutor can analyse your approach to academic writing and thinking in the context of what your markers have said.

Pre-booking tutorials

ASK does not pre-book tutorials as the number of tutorials and focus will vary according to the student. The initial tutorial will explore your learning needs and then address them with you if possible. Further tutorials are negotiated and agreed with you at the first session if more work is needed.

For further questions, ASK contact details are available here.


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