Dreams Can Come True: The University of Northampton’s Integrated Learner Support Model

Activity: Academic Talks or PresentationsOral presentationResearch


When supporting students with academic skills research has clearly shown that embedded support is the most effective (Wyatt, 2011). Getting courses to engage with Learning Development (LD) and other support services, at the University of Northampton (UoN),has been challenging. This has led to a disparity in support students have received. In 2017, UoN introduced the Learner support policy, by 2020 all undergraduate students, at all levels, would have embedded learner support sessions. These would be a minimum of six hours for first years, three for second years and six for third years. The sessions would be delivered by Learning Development, Academic Librarians and Changemaker. The roll out of the support began in September 2018 with sessions for all first year students.
While the LD team fully supported this move, delivering sessions across all courses and maintaining support for post graduate courses, as well as tutorials was an interesting challenge. This paper will discuss the design of the embedded support, how the three teams decided on the support and sessions needed. Looking in particular at the development of the first LD session. It will then explore how the sessions were embedded across all courses. It will then evaluate the sessions delivered in the first term, from the students, course leaders and LD perspective.
Period4 Apr 2019
Event title16th Association for Learning Development in Higher Education (ALDinHE) Conference
Event typeConference
LocationExeter, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionLocal


  • academic skills
  • academic support
  • student experience
  • retention