Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) is a form of student-to-student support, usually taking place through weekly study sessions or workshops.

PAL is delivered by higher-level students (PAL Leaders), who have been through the same programme as you and will be able to give you insights and tips to help you succeed. They also work with your lecturers to create useful questions and resources for your PAL session.

Learning with other students on your course, gives you opportunities to share ideas, increase your knowledge, develop confidence, and make friends.

Has my course got PAL?

If your course is listed, PAL should be on your timetable:

  • Foundation Programme in Engineering and Applied Science
  • MPharm Pharmacy (First year)
How to get the most from PAL
  1. Attend regularly. This will help you get the maximum benefit from the sessions.
  2. Prepare. Review your notes and think about what you might like to cover in the session.
  3. Be willing to participate (a PAL session works best when the group works together to find answers).
  4. Be open (if you feel uncertain or need to go over something again let your PAL leader know).
  5. Provide feedback. You are welcome to suggest improvements, so that your PAL leaders can provide the best study sessions possible.
Become a PAL leader

PAL leaders run study sessions for new students to build their understanding and confidence in the subject and develop their learning strategies.

As a PAL Leader you will:

  • Facilitate class discussion and activities to help students understand module content
  • Provide advice on study strategies
  • Share experience of the course
  • Direct students to other support
  • Help with promotion of the sessions
  • Work with other PAL Leaders to plan session activities

It is important to note that PAL Leaders are not expected to teach or take the role of a subject expert.

Benefits of the role, include:

  • Record on your 'Higher Education Achievement Record' (HEAR)
  • Employability skills for your CV (e.g. leadership, teamwork, interpersonal communication, organisation and facilitation skills)
  • Potential to improve your academic performance by revisiting past material
  • End of year awards
  • Satisfaction of helping others
How to apply

Recruitment of new PAL Leaders usually takes place during the Summer term. You may receive communication from your course leader or College office asking for applications.

Qualities and skills required:

  • Good interpersonal skills
  • Good communication skills
  • Good organisational skills
  • Team plater
  • Professional approach to work
  • Non-judgmental
  • Willing to learn
  • Interest in developing others

Before you apply, consider how you will manage your time to ensure you can commit to this role throughout the academic year.

Training and support

Before beginning your role, you will need to complete asynchronous training via a Blackboard course and attend synchronous training, either through webinars or face-to-face on campus.

During the role, you will work with another PAL Leader to plan and deliver sessions. You will also be invited to group debrief meetings where you will have the opportunity to share your experiences and discuss challenges and session ideas with other PAL Leaders.

PAL Leaders have ongoing support from the Learning Development Centre and specific Academic staff from the programme they are supporting.

Peer Assisted Leading Enquiries

Contact the LDC team