As you will know, coming to University can be both exciting and daunting. Many new students will be living away from their parents for the first time and will find shared living with their peers a challenge; also managing money will be new to many students as will independent study. All of these changes can often make the start of University life a confusing and difficult time.
This is where your role as a peer mentor becomes invaluable. No one is in a better place to offer advice and support to students. Almost any student can be a peer mentor. Probably the most important qualities to have as a peer mentor are enthusiasm, patience and an interest in working with people.
Peer mentors receive general training on a range of issues with which they could be faced and there will always be someone available to help and support the mentors.
Peer mentors will be matched up to a small group of first years from their course or a similar course to support for the duration of their first year at university. Peer mentors should be in a position to share their experience and support and guide with the various aspects related to the transition to university.
Read the role description
Rhys' story Nefeli's story
Almost anyone can volunteer to be a peer mentor but generally peer mentors are second year students. However, if you are not in your second year and would like to volunteer don't let this stop you! In order to become a peer mentor, you just need to sign up to and attend one of our peer mentor training sessions. Before you do, we recommend you read the Role Description to familiarise yourself with what is expected of a peer mentor.
Training of peer mentors and lead peer mentors for 2019-20 will take place between March and April 2019. The training will be 2 hours and will take place in your subject areas. If you are unable to attend the subject specific session email firstname.lastname@example.org who can recommend alternatives.
After you have completed your training, you will be able to apply to become a Lead Peer Mentor.
Sign up to your department's Peer Mentor Training Session
Lead Peer Mentors
We recruit approximately 70 lead peer mentors each year, who are responsible for assisting with the overall coordination of the mentoring scheme and representing the mentoring scheme on their programme. Lead peer mentors will typically be involved with matching mentors and mentees, leading the mentor/mentee welcome events, organising activities throughout the year as well as regularly staying in touch with the departmental mentor coordinator and Peer Support team. Lead peer mentors will still have mentees and their duties are in addition to what is required as a peer mentor.
Read the role description
Sharanya's story Nele's story
Recruitment and Training
You can apply to become a lead peer mentor once you have completed the peer mentor training. To apply for this role you must complete an online application form which will be assessed by a panel including the Peer Support Team and a member of staff from your department. Successful applicants will be invited to the Lead Peer Mentor training, which this year will be taking place on Wednesday 10th April 2019.
Postgraduate Peer Mentors support new postgraduate students from their faculty, providing support during the first few months of their course. Peer Mentors can share their experience as a new postgraduate student and answer questions about the transition to postgraduate study and life and work at the University of Bath.
Read the MRes Peer Mentor role description Read the Doctoral Peer Mentor role description
Chao's story Peter's story
Recruitment and Training - Mentors for Doctoral Students
We recruit Postgraduate Peer Mentors for doctoral students over the summer and in December, ensuring that mentors are available for students starting at different points in the year.
We currently have some training sessions available for you to sign up to in order to become a Postgraduate Peer Mentor. Contact email@example.com if you are interested in becoming a peer mentor but are unable to attend one of the above sessions.
Monday 29th July – 10:15am-12:05pm
Thursday 29th August – 10:15am-12:05pm
Please note that we currently only work with the Faculties of Engineering and Design, Humanities and Social Sciences and the School of Management to run mentoring schemes for new doctoral students. Some mentoring schemes operate in the Faculty of Science and we recommend speaking with your supervisor or director of studies if you are interested in volunteering as a mentor.
If you think that a mentoring scheme would be valuable in your department, there are several things that you can do to set up a new mentoring scheme.
Find out more about starting a new mentoring scheme
Recruitment and Training - Mentors for MRes Students
We recruit Postgraduate Peer Mentors for doctoral students over the summer. In order to take on this role, you need to be a current or former MRes student in the Faculty of HSS and expect to be a doctoral student from September 2019.
Sign up to become a mentor for MRes students
Placement Peer Mentors support students going through the placement process. They support a small group of mentees in their second or third year and attend a networking event for their department, where they can share their placement experiences with students. You could support students with finding and applying for placements, preparing to go on placement and accessing support while they’re on placement.
Mentors do not support with the writing of applications or replicate any of the support that already exists. They act as informal peer to peer support and are trained to signpost students where necessary.
We currently work with the Faculties of Humanities and Social Sciences and Science to run mentoring schemes.
Read the role description
Recruitment and Training
We recruit mentors over the summer, who are students returning from placement. Students who apply will be invited to a short training session to prepare for the role.Keep an eye on this section for updates on when training will take place.
Apply now to become a Placement Peer Mentor
Social Work Placement Peer Mentors
Final year students in Social Work can also volunteer as a Placement Peer Mentor to support second year students while on their first placements. Peer Mentors plan and facilitate regular mentoring sessions during the first semester, delivering activities and supporting group work to enable students to share their experiences on placement, discuss assessment work and find support on issues.
In order to become a Social Work Placement Peer Mentor, you just need to sign up to and attend our training session on 1st October. We recommend that you also familiarise yourself with the role description, which outlines in more detail the responsibilities of the role. If you are interested in becoming a Peer Mentor but are unable to attend the training session, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read the role description
Sign up to our training session
There are lots of benefits for you whilst volunteering as a peer mentor. These include:
- Develops important transferable skills.
- Helping others increases your own confidence.
- Will help consolidate your own knowledge and understanding of your programme or placement and the University.
- Good opportunity to meet new people, building strong personal and professional networks.
- It will look good on your CV. It will provide evidence that you are willing to take on responsibility.
- Being a mentor counts towards the Doctoral Skills Programme for postgraduate students.
- Access to the Student Leaders Hub in the Virgil Building to carry out your work.
- You will receive training on listening and communication skills.
- Your volunteering can contribute to The Bath Award which is included on your final degree transcript.
- You will be invited to an end of year thank you celebration event.
How much time do I have to dedicate to peer mentoring?
The mentor/mentee relationship will last for the whole academic year. We expect mentors to meet their mentees at least once more during their first semester. From there, you and your mentees can decide how to continue the mentor/mentee relationship. You may want to continue meeting regularly, stay in touch via email or social media, or a mixture of these.
Is it paid?
Peer mentoring is voluntary. However, there are plenty of other benefits of being a peer mentor, including being able to have your work accredited through the Bath Award.
How many mentees will I have?
We try to allocate mentors approximately 5 students to mentor. This does depend on how many mentors sign up and the number of first years starting the course each year.
Will my mentees be from my course?
Yes, or a similar one. Our mentor schemes are arranged so you mentor students who are studying a similar course so you can share your experience.
When will I know who my mentees are?
This varies across mentor schemes, however most mentors know before their mentees arrive on campus. We recommend that mentors email their mentees before coming to University where possible. Placement mentees choose their mentors and you will be contact during the year if someone wants you to be their mentor.
When will my first meeting be and how do I arrange it?
For undergraduate mentors, your first meeting is arranged for you. Each department organises a welcome event at the start of the year, which mentors are expected to attend and meet their mentees. This is a good opportunity to introduce yourself and find out about your mentees.
For other schemes, you may be invited to a similar event during induction to meet your mentees. You can also invite mentees to meet you during your initial communications.
What happens next?
Arrange to meet up with your mentees throughout the year and support them through email or social media, whatever works for you and your mentees.
Where should we meet?
Most people meet up in a café on campus or somewhere in the department. Make sure you meet in a public place at first until you get to know your mentees.
How many times will we meet?
It’s up to you. It’s good to have meetings with your mentees in a group if you can arrange it, or even to meet up with another mentor and their mentees. That way, the new students get more opportunities to meet others on their course.
Am I expected to become a real friend for my mentees?
No. The mentor-mentee relationship is a semi-professional one. You might not get on that well on a personal basis but can still maintain the mentoring role. However, many mentor-mentee pairings have led to firm enduring friendships being made.
Still got questions? Get in touch!