What is a College Advisor?

What is a College Advisor?

All graduate students are assigned a College Advisor, who is usually a Fellow of the College.

Your College Advisor can:

  • provide pastoral support, for example on health, personal or coping issues, and/or direct you to appropriate persons for assistance;
  • monitor your progress, by discussing your University supervision reports and by being available for consultation, either in person or by email;
  • discuss with you any problems or difficulties you may be experiencing in your Department or Faculty, and/or with your supervisor;
  • consult the Tutor for Graduates if there are concerns about your academic progress and if you appear to be experiencing difficulties with your academic work;
  • offer guidance on sources of support available within the College and University.

In addition your College Advisor may be able to offer you advice on academic-related matters such as: applications for research funding, conferences and seminar attendance, publication and career plans. College Advisors would not normally be expected to provide academic references, as others are better placed to do so. They might provide a reference for other purposes, such as Junior Deanship, or a character reference.

Your College Advisor is not expected to perform the role of your Department or Faculty Supervisor(s), and is not responsible for directing your academic work or for giving detailed academic guidance.

You will first meet your College Advisor during your first term, and you are encouraged to contact your College Advisor as and when you need advice or help. (You should also feel free to consult other College Officers as necessary: see below.)

Your College Advisor may be changed during periods of sabbatical or other academic leave. Should there be reasons for you to seek a change of Advisor, you should contact your Tutor for Graduates.

Further information

This guidance focuses specifically on the role of your College Advisor. Your College Advisor will be able to direct you to relevant sources of advice and support, which you should feel free to consult as necessary. These might include (but are not limited to):

  • College Dean or Junior Deans
  • MCR President or MCR Welfare Officers
  • College Nurse or College Doctor
  • College Tutor for Graduates
  • College Academic Office
  • College Accounts Office

You should also feel free to discuss your work and any attendant difficulties with your Supervisors or Course Directors. If for any reason discussion of problems with your Supervisors or Course Directors is difficult, there are other avenues open for obtaining advice and help, including contacting the Tutor for Graduates (email: graduates@stcatz.ox.ac.uk).