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PAL for Students

PAL involves students in their second and/or third year – our PAL Leaders – facilitating student led group learning and support sessions with new students, which are timetabled within programmes of study. 

In addition, it strives to develop a sense of community and belonging for students in their programme/department, enabling inter-level interaction and an environment in which peer to peer learning can take place.

PAL can also help students to:

  • Share experiences
  • Improve their understanding of key programme and university related knowledge
  • Develop transferable skills and attributes such as group working and confidence

PAL sessions are run on a regular basis for new students on the programmes that have a PAL scheme.  

How does PAL benefit students?

You can find out about how PAL can benefit both first year students and PAL Leaders here.

In addition, we also recognise PAL Leaders and schemes as part of the Student Leaders Awards each year.  We have awards for the 'PAL Leader of the Year' and also 'PAL Scheme of the Year'. In the 2016 event PAL Leaders from the Computing and Psychology schemes were recognised as 'PAL Leader's of the Year' and Pre-Sessional won 'PAL Scheme of the Year', with Nursing and Chemstry schemes being highly commended for the work they've done.

What happens in PAL sessions?

PAL Leaders plan for and run PAL sessions based on their experiences as a first year and on the needs and suggestions of their first year group.

So students set the agenda for sessions and it is their time and space to work through materials, ideas and questions together.

PAL Leaders are not expected to teach, but are there to facilitate first years to search for their own solutions. Sessions focus on academic aspects such as programme content and study skills and can also offer social interaction. 

PAL groups are encouraged to bring their own ideas and questions to the sessions so that Leaders can support the things that they want to focus on.  PAL therefore offers a different learning environment to some other classes – one where students determine what to discuss.

Students have used PAL sessions to cover a very wide range of areas, including:

  • Referencing
  • Note taking
  • Essay writing
  • Library and finding resources (journals etc.)
  • Using Blackboard
  • Understanding key course concepts and skills (e.g. java programming, pharmacy calculations, accounting, SPSS etc.)
  • Time management
  • Group work
  • Presentation skills and practicing presentations
  • Pebblepad
  • Reflections/ reflective writing
  • Preparing for assessments and exam techniques
  • Understanding marks and feedback
  • Support with project work
  • Providing peer feedback

Does my programme have PAL?

To find out if your programme has a PAL scheme visit here

You can also suggest setting a new PAL scheme too if your programme is yet to develop one.

Want to be a PAL Leader?

PAL Leaders will plan and facilitite all PAL sessions.  These PAL Leaders are trained and supported throughout the scheme and have resources available to help deliver sessions.  

Being a PAL Leader is a great opportunity to develop skills and gain experiences PAL Leader Opportunity (312 KB)

100% of 2015/16 PAL Leaders surveyed agreed they had sufficient resources to use in sessions and that support was available from the PAL team throughout the role. 

If your programme runs a PAL scheme and you're interested in becoming a PAL Leader, please email the team.

“First year students can discuss their thoughts and academic progress, as well as other social factors that might affect their life in Bradford”

"We really needed PAL because when you’re first coming to university, we don’t know where things are, what to do, or how to do it.  They’ve been our buddies, helping us…so for me I found it very beneficial."

First Year Students

"PAL has given me the opportunity to gain a number of skills including group management, group facilitation and presentation skills. I now have the confidence to deliver a session to a class"

"I have demonstrated leadership skills which will be useful for me in the real world of work"

“My increasing confidence has helped me to feel quite positive about my understanding and my own work and my own ideas. It has helped me to believe in myself”

PAL Leaders

If you are a student who would like to know more about PAL in their department, setting up a PAL scheme or becoming a PAL Leader, please email:

Ruth Lefever, PAL Scheme Manager, on