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What does PAL involve?

PAL schemes are co-curricular and aim to work as a partnership between students and staff.  Most involve:

  • Student 'PAL Leaders' running regular (timetabled) small group sessions, facilitating group discussion and tasks
  • Students set the agenda for sessions, although staff can offer suggested activities or ideas
  • Sessions focus on academic aspects such as programme content and study skills and can also offer social interaction 
  • PAL Leaders are not expected to teach, but to facilitate first years to search for their own solutions
  • Full training and ongoing support is provided to the student PAL Leaders
  • All schemes are evaluated annually and PAL Leaders, students and staff can be involved in shaping how the scheme develops
  • Successful PAL Leaders receive acknowledgment through certification at the end of the scheme and the role should appear on their new HEAR transcript.

Key features

  • Unique learning environment – student centred and student only time
  • Co-participatory – group learning, discussion, exchange of ideas and mutual support
  • Academic support and social learning and support
  • Offers students a personalise, safe and informal space to work through materials, ideas and questions together

All PAL schemes are coordinated centrally by the Student Experience & Success Team, in partnership with the Department/programme.  The team can design a scheme to best suit a particular programme and will then recruit and train PAL Leaders, supporting them and staff throughout the scheme.