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Course Syllabus

M209 Managing Students in Distress




Learning Module


Online - Self-paced + tutorials

Learning Activity


You open the email titled urgent from your personal tutee and read the one line asking to meet with you. The request to meet with you contains no context or description and the ominous and deliberate dearth of language used by the tutee pings an inner alarm bell that means that all may not be well!  

This module will help you handle those situations when you are faced with a distressed tutee, whatever the nature of their distress.

What will you learn from engaging in this activity?

  • Define a student in distress.
  • Assess and identify the levels of severity presented by a student in distress.
  • Understand and apply communication management techniques designed to manage a student in distress.
  • Explain the Assess, Gather, Hold, Signpost/Escalate and Document process

What key concepts will you understand as a result of engaging in this activity?

  • A tutor has to be comfortable in their understanding of psychological distress and its impact on the tutor-student relationship. 
  • It is important to reflect on own communication style when working with a student in distress. 
  • The importance of working within the role of the personal tutor in advising a student in distress.

What essential questions will this activity address?

Where does the role of the tutor begin and end when presented with a student expressing the following forms of distress: 

  1. Academic issues
  2. Practice-based issues
  3. Pastoral issues


Preliminary Learning

Before you engage in this activity, we recommend that you have studied these UKAT Curriculum activities, or attained equivalent experience.

Follow-on Learning
Participating in this activity will prepare you to engage in these UKAT Curriculum activities.
UKAT Professional Framework Mapping

Framework Competencies Addressed


I6. Campus and community resources that support student success


R7. Collaborate effectively with campus services to provide support to students


P1. Create and support environments that consider the needs and perspectives of students, and respect individual learners

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