Peer Support

USSU Peer Support

Starting university can be a challenging time; for a lot of students it will be the first time living away from home, in a new place on their own. This can be very daunting, and students can struggle to settle into life at university, which can affect their academic studies, but also their confidence and mental health. This is why your Students’ Union is launching a new pastoral peer support project with the aim of helping first year students settle into university.

This peer support scheme intends to make the transition to university an easier one for students. Student volunteers will offer peer support to first year students on the same programme. Students will then be able to talk to their peer support volunteer and ask any questions or advice they would like to know about university*. Volunteers will also have information about the various services available in the Students’ Union and the University, so should students ever need some more support, they can refer them to the support services which can help.

Note: this peer support scheme is solely a pastoral one; it is not to provide students assistance with their academic work.

What does the peer support role involve?

Through your role as a peer support volunteer, you will be able to provide new students with a sense of security and support should they need it. Having someone they know they can go to with any questions they have, whether about the university, student life or the local area can make a big difference to students' early experience of university, and can help to make it a more positive and easier transition. Listening to students is very important and should they come to you with any issues they are facing, you can advise them on the services that can help them. 

Specific duties:

  • Talk to the students you are supporting regularly​
  • Provide information about the support services available in the Students’ Union and the University
  • Listen to any concerns or problems and refer students to the relevant support services
  • Encourage students to become involved in student life eg. joining a sports club or activity group
  • Share relevant advice and experience with students
  • Attend progress meetings with the Mentoring Coordinator
  • Uphold the values of the Students' Union in your role 

The role will require a few hours of your time a week at most; it can be very flexible to work around both you and the students you will be supporting. You will receive training to equip you with all the information you will need to effectively support students.

What can I get out of it?

Becoming a peer support volunteer can be very rewarding for you. As well as supporting other students, the role can equip you with important employability skills which future employers value, and will help you when it comes to finding a job when you graduate from university. Volunteering and supporting students can help you to develop and enhance key skills such as:

  • Communication and interpersonal skills
  • Capacity to function successfully as part of a team
  • Problem solving
  • Planning and organising
  • Self-management


To apply, fill in the application form below. For any enquiries, email our Student Mentoring Coordinator, Alice, at