Accessibility statement

Holding sessions

Hold supervisor meetings regularly each term to check how well your supervisee is doing and provide encouragement and support.

Good quality supervision has a significant impact on the student experience and helps retain students and increase satisfaction levels.

Session checklist

To optimise your individual supervision time sessions should be:

  • Held at regular intervals each term – with additional meetings if appropriate.
  • About 15 minutes long.
  • Held at a mutually convenient time, mindful of travel time and specific programme commitments.
  • Held according to a common departmental timeline that evolves through the academic year(s).
  • Organised by Doodle poll, Google Calendar, or similar tool.
  • Recorded by you and your supervisee for future reflection on progress.
  • Only cancelled (by supervisor or student) if really necessary. It can be helpful to agree appropriate reasons for cancellation and a procedure for informing each other of a cancellation at your first meeting.

Students who miss several supervision sessions should be contacted and encouraged to attend. Please refer to the guidance on student withdrawal and assumed withdrawal.

In rare cases of a breakdown of relationship between supervisor and supervisee, students are advised to talk to the Chair of the Board of Studies or the Head of Department. Undergraduate students can change supervisor without giving a reason.


By taking a personal interest in both academic and pastoral matters in regular supervision sessions you will be helping to achieve the following outcomes for students:

  • You are likely to be your supervisee’s first point of contact for academic and pastoral help and advice. This should enable them to settle in to life at York more easily and become more secure and engaged in their studies. This, in turn, can encourage better academic results earlier.
  • By maintaining an overview of personal and academic progress, you will be able to spot issues or problems and provide timely advice or signpost students to other services. This will hopefully mean students will be more likely to present earlier with any problems. This should improve student retention rates and help students achieve the best results they can.
  • By following up on recommendations made in previous sessions, students will feel encouraged and supported to make improvements in their studies or their personal circumstances.
  • Through your regular encouragement to work hard, develop further skills and explore non-academic activities, students are more likely to achieve their full potential – leading to better results and greater employability prospects, which is good for the student and the wider University.
  • By building a relationship over time, your supervisees will trust that you can provide a genuine reference or recommendation. This reflects well on both you and the University.