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Student Support Advisor

The Student Support Advisers provide a confidential support service on a broad range of welfare and pastoral issues, aimed at helping students to achieve a positive, fulfilling and enriching University experience.

They work with individual students or student groups who are experiencing difficulties, and who may be at risk of leaving and/or under-achieving, to ensure they receive effective support and guidance.

Student Support Advisers work with students, professional support and academic staff in the development of our inclusive and supportive University community. Advisers play a coordinating role in the case management of agreed support packages, working with Student Services teams and University departments to retain students by ensuring that the support offered actively re-engages students with key services, their course and the life of the University. Student Support Advisers identify and proactively engage with students who have additional support requirements. This could include working with students who are from a Care Leavers’ background, vulnerable student groups and students who are pregnant. The post holder will also provide guidance to academic and professional support staff on individual student welfare issues or concerns.

The role requires a high level of confidentiality, attention to detail, accurate record keeping, excellent judgement and the ability to initiate creative approaches to problem solving as well as to follow instructions and procedures. Student Support Advisers are skilled at building rapport through empathy, developing and maintaining positive and professional relationships with students. Advisers also possess personal resilience, managing their own needs effectively when dealing with difficult, challenging or distressing situations.

In the supporting statement of your application form please give evidence to demonstrate how you meet the essential criteria listed in the person specification; you are advised to address each item on the person specification in turn and give specific examples of activities you have undertaken.





Closing date: Sunday 07 Jan 2018

Reference number: SS1710 - 3479

Job details

Job details

Band 5 - £21,585 - £24,983 with opportunity to progress to £26.494
37 hours
As soon as possible
Responsible to
Student Support Service Manager
Responsible for
Interview date
To be confirmed



Student Services aims to support University of Worcester students to enable them to fulfil their potential through a range of services under the following headings:

• Careers and Employability Service

• Chaplaincy

• Counselling and Mental Health Service

• Disability and Dyslexia Service

• Firstpoint student contact centre

• Money Advice Service

• Student Achievement Service

• Student Support and Wellbeing Service

• Unitots Nursery


In the Strategic Plan for 2013-2018, the University sets out the values that underpin the standards expected of all members of the university community. These are:

• Intellectual openness, honesty and love of learning

• Human equality and dignity

• Democracy and mutual respect

 • Educational and social inclusion

• Environmental sustainability and social responsibility

• Ethical and professional behaviour

• Active engagement and partnership


 Within Student Services these values lead to an expectation of the following professional behaviours:

• A commitment to delivering an excellent, inclusive and student-focused service

• A positive and proactive approach to problem solving and seeking to improve practice, while maximising effective use of resources

• Embracing change and being receptive to new ideas

• Showing commitment to your own development, and supporting others to achieve their potential

• Working collaboratively

• Valuing, encouraging and supporting diversity to foster a spirit of mutual respect

• Managing your own workload effectively, and contributing positively to the wider team

• Maintaining an awareness of the University’s aims, and where your role fits in to the bigger picture



Main duties

Main duties

Main duties

1. To work with students who are experiencing difficulties, one to one and in groups, in order to assist them to resolve their issues and to continue with their studies. This can be through face-to-face, telephone, video conferencing or email contact using a variety of coaching, conflict resolution, advice and guidance tools.

2.To provide information, advice and guidance to students on a variety of issues, sometimes complex, that have an impact on their studies and/or wellbeing.

3.To take independent, autonomous responsibility for decisions on a daily basis regarding complex student support concerns, risks and enquiries. You will be responsible for identifying appropriate responses to referrals and when to make proactive interventions. In some instances, this will include responding to crises involving students in normal working hours and, where those crises arise out of hours, supporting the coordinated response on the next working day.

4. To use your sound judgment to refer high-risk or crisis situations to the Student Support Service Manager, or other senior managers as appropriate.

5. To be the first point of contact for the team on a day-to-day basis, and to provide an initial response to urgent enquiries or incidents in the absence of the Student Support Service Manager.

6. To identify students who have specific support requirements, who are vulnerable or in crisis, taking a proactive approach in contacting those students identified and creating a comprehensive support plan that will enable the student to achieve their full potential. This may include liaising with other teams and services across the University and other external agencies, as required, to ensure that a coordinated support plan is achieved.

7. To facilitate case meetings to discuss individual students, take the lead as required and collaboratively create support plans that may involve a number of different services. When necessary, coordinate the support to encourage students to engage, maintain appropriate records and manage communication across the support team and with the student, working collaboratively to support students in the most appropriate manner.

8. To develop and deliver training to others on the role of the Student Support Advisers and other topical subjects, acting as a point of referral for others such as academics and the Residential Ambassadors.

9. To organise and deliver opportunities to engage with students in a number of different informal and formal events throughout the academic year, contributing to the induction and orientation of new students through presentations, workshops and social activities. This may include occasional working outside normal office hours, for example at Welcome Weekend or Open Events, with appropriate notice.

10. To maintain effective, comprehensive and confidential records to contribute towards the ongoing dialogue of a students’ progress and for statistical analysis. Have a good understanding of data protection when working with sensitive information.

11. To compile reports on various aspects of the service including individual student issues, student support data and evaluations of the impact of the team’s activities, and contribute evidence-based statements for formal procedures or applications.

12. To take a lead role on a specific strand of targeted work within the team (e.g. Student Transitions, Vulnerable Students or Community Development Campaigns) developing specific projects and initiatives to further delivery within your area of specialism.

13. To maintain a good knowledge and understanding of the University’s policies and procedures in order to support students throughout the process of dealing with concerns or complaints, referring to the University’s Initial Advisers and the Students’ Union as required.

14. To create resources, web pages and social media communications to support the work of the Student Support and Wellbeing team, in dynamic and creative formats that take into consideration accessibility and maximize the impact for students.

15. To keep up to date with developments and good practice in the fields of student health, wellbeing and personal security and their promotion; contribute to identifying the priorities and objectives for the team, then developing practices and implementing policies to ensure team objectives are met, working closely with the Student Support Service Manager.

16. To proactively engage in internal and external meetings on behalf of the team, providing timely and relevant feedback.

17. To undertake other duties relevant to the role and commensurate with the grade of the post, as required.

*Maintain personal and professional development to meet the changing demands of the job; participate in appropriate training activities and encourage and support staff in their development and training.

*Take steps to ensure and enhance personal health, safety and well being and that of other staff and students.

 *Carry out these duties in a manner that promotes equality of opportunity and supports diversity and inclusion, and takes into account the University's commitment to environmentally sustainable ways of working.



Person specification

Person specification

Please provide evidence of how you meet each of the essential criteria.

Essential Criteria

1. Educated to degree level, or equivalent skills, knowledge and experience in a relevant area e.g. working in student support, welfare, or information advice and guidance.

2. Ability to provide clear, accurate advice, guidance or information, alongside a commitment to assisting students to reach their full potential while maintaining appropriate professional boundaries relating to levels of support and intervention.

3. A calm approach to challenging conversations, and the ability to defuse situations and be confident when dealing with people who may be highly distressed, anxious or angry.

4. Proven ability to work effectively under pressure, handle stress and manage competing demands.

5. Excellent interpersonal skills, with the ability to empathise; active listening skills, sensitivity to students’ issues and a non-judgmental approach.

6. Proven ability to maintain the highest standards of professionalism, dealing with confidential and sensitive issues with integrity, discretion and impartiality, in accordance with University guidelines and the Data Protection Act.

7. Excellent organisational and administrative skills, the ability to manage time effectively under pressure, and to be flexible when required.

8. Proven ability to take a proactive approach to work, with the capacity to make appropriate decisions about prioritising, initiate action and monitor the effectiveness of the service in line with university objectives.

9. Experience of working as part of a team and of establishing, enhancing and maintaining short and long-term relationships with internal and external contacts.

10. Experience of providing information, advice and guidance through individual interviews and group work.

11. Understanding of the needs and concerns of University students.

12. Experience of delivering welfare support in a proactive and reactive manner, contributing to a positive outcome for individuals.

13. Experience of writing and maintaining client records.

14. Ability to communicate clearly, confidently and effectively, verbally, in writing and via electronic media. An excellent standard of spoken and written English (including grammar, punctuation and spelling) is required, with the ability to engage students through your communications.

15. Excellent IT skills including experience of using Microsoft Word to create and edit documents, Access for recording and maintaining data, Outlook for sending, receiving and managing emails and calendars, and an understanding of the principles and possibilities of social media.

16. A positive approach to your own training and that of others. Willingness and ability to manage your own personal development in order to keep up to date with systems, processes, technology, good practice and University priorities.

17. Willingness and ability to travel independently to undertake duties on campus, at other University sites and in the local community as required, or occasionally to travel to events or training at other locations.

18. A positive attitude to diversity and inclusion, and the ability to adapt the service and approach appropriately to suit the needs of individual students.

Desirable Criteria

1. A relevant qualification, such as an NVQ in Advice and Guidance.

2. Experience of working in an educational setting, preferably in higher education.

3. Knowledge of mediation and/or conflict resolution.


Applications from Non EEA Workers:

Prospective applicants are advised to ensure that they are eligible to work in the UK without restriction.

Prospective applicants in points-based system immigration routes should assess their circumstances against the published criteria, which are set out on the GOV.UK website at

Visit for more information on how you can use a qualification from outside the UK to meet the requirements of the immigration rules.


Unspent convictions, cautions and bind-overs
The University is strongly committed to the fair treatment of its staff and potential staff, regardless of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, responsibility for dependants, age, physical/mental disability or offending background.

 In line with the University's policy on the Recruitment of People with a Criminal Record, shortlisted candidates are required to provide information of any unspent convictions, cautions and bind-overs. Applicants are advised to seek independent advice if there is any doubt about the status of a previous conviction, caution or bind-over. Disclosures will only be considered at the point when an offer of employment is made. The existence of a criminal record will not in itself prevent you from gaining employment.

 This is a description of the job as it is presently constituted. This job description is intended to enable a flexible approach to be offered working across the University as required. It is subject to review and amendment in the light of changing needs of the University and to provide appropriate development opportunities. Members of staff are expected to participate fully in discussions about changing requirements and it is the University's aim to reach agreement to reasonable change. If agreement is not possible, it reserves the right to require changes to the job description after consultation with the individual concerned.



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