Coaching is unlocking a person’s potential to maximise their own performance. It is helping them to learn rather than teaching them.”

John Whitmore, in Coaching for Performance. 1992

Coaching is a process that aims to improve performance and focuses on the ‘here and now’ rather than on the distant past or future. In coaching, fundamentally, the coach is helping the individual to improve their own performance: in other words, helping them to learn.

In a tutoring session there is a flow of information from tutor to student. In a coaching conversation the student leads the discussion and sets the agenda in negotiation with the coach.

The GROW (Goal/s, Reality, Options, Will) model will guide the coaching sessions, with the purpose of assisting students in becoming accountable for their goals. It can also spark curiosity and encourage students to push themselves to reach their full potential.

The coach’s role is to provide the student the time and space to think freely and honestly about what they want to improve in themselves.

Coaching can help a student reflect and develop awareness to better assess their strengths and areas for development in their academic and personal life.

The coaching process should encourage self-reflection, goal setting, reflection on habits of learning and putting in place students’ own strategies to achieve their goals.

By the end of a coaching cycle, the student should have a plan in place or be actively working on one to make those personal improvements.

Coaching Cycle:

Sessions can be delivered in-person or online allowing the student flexibility, especially for when they are on placement and other time pressures.

Each student will be offered 4 x 55 minute sessions per week with a minimum of a 2/3-week interval in between each session.

A final 5th session 2 months after the 4th session to review progress.

Coaching cycle format:

  • Session 1: coach and student sign a contract to ensure confidentiality, attendance and the setting of goals and other responsibilities. Overview of student’s reality and finding out main academic/life goal/s – giving out worksheets to aid the process
  • Session 2: Exploring what is blocking the student from achieving their goal/s & potential student led solution/s – more directed actions and worksheets depending on the themes of the conversation
  • Session 3: Continuing to explore how to achieve goal/s and implementation of a plan driven by the student
  • Session 4: Developing a longer-term strategy on how to remain focused and use the strategies the student has utilised during the coaching cycle continues in to the future. Closure, feedback from student on coaching service – Feedback questionnaire.
  • Session 5: will be conducted 2 months after the final session, this will be a 40min session to assess how the student has been progressing and general feedback from student

Coaching sessions can focus on the following areas although are not limited to them. The list below is potential areas the Coach and student can discuss in the sessions.

The time is the student’s time they can discuss the area/s or goal/s that is most relevant to them and what they want to focus on:

  • Career/Life goals
  • Choosing a direction
  • Dealing with pressure
  • Improve/Build confidence
  • Independent learning/ Increasing productivity
  • Problem solving
  • Procrastination/Time management
  • Realising your strengths/ Maximising effectiveness
  • Staying motivated/ Keeping focused
  • Overcoming imposter syndrome
  • Understanding your values and beliefs


Application is an online questionnaire hosted on MS Forms

Students can self-refer for coaching and we agree that coaching is the best approach.

Alternatively, a student is referred for coaching by a Tutor and they then fill out the application form.

Once the application has been received the student will receive a response within 10 working days.

The student will then receive an initial 10-15min phone call to further assess their needs before the first appointment is booked and the cycle begins.

Coaching shares some characteristics with counselling and mentoring although they are all not the same. If counselling or mentoring is what you are seeking you will be signposted to those services within the university.

For more information you can email the Coach on: