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can a personal tutor stop you from doing something? Watch

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    Just want to know this.
    Can your personal tutor at university stop you from doing a masters degree or training to become a teacher because they don't think you're capable - despite the fact that you get a first or 2:1? How involved is your tutor aside from providing your references?
    Anyone had bad experiences with their personal tutor?
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    I'd say they're there for advice purposes. You cannot put anything negative on a reference so they will only be able to put something positive.

    i'd say if you feel that you can do it then theres no reason for them to try and stop you - just express that you really do want to do this. I had a tutor say for me not to go for a teaching course, however, I said I wanted to so they wrote my reference and I got accepted on the course, so only you will know best and if it doesn't work out, theres still other ways. I wouldn't worry!
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    (Original post by liamjoseph)
    You cannot put anything negative on a reference
    Not true. This is a simplified understanding that does the rounds with regard to employment references; not sure where you got the impression that academic references have to be universally positive.

    In both cases, there are legal dimensions - there can be a case for negligence if a student/employee's interests are harmed by a poor reference for which there is insufficient evidence. This means that, a lot of the time, references will only confirm the details of a student/employee's attendance record, dates of study/work, grade classifications, etc.

    However - this certainly does not mean that 'you cannot put anything negative on a reference'. If your personal tutor has serious doubts about your suitability for further academic study, for example, they are able (and I would argue, should be obliged by their duty of care) to raise these concerns.

    Here is an example of a guide on academic reference writing from the University of Sussex which explains this in more detail: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/ogs/policies...cesforstudents

    Now, it is likely that a lot of the time, staff will simply provide generic references rather than take the risk of saying something negative that they're not 100% confident of successfully justifying if legally challenged. However, if something really is concerning, and on record, they can absolutely bring that up.

    Regardless, for postgrad study, you need strong references. Something generic or damnation by faint praise is not going to do you any favours. Someone can say perfectly nice things about you and directly recommend you for acceptance onto a particular course, but there's lots of ways to make that letter lukewarm and unenthusiastic without saying anything negative about the student at all.

    That said, judging by this and OP's other slightly weird thread, I don't think there's anything to particularly worry about here.
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    (Original post by worldender)
    Not true. This is a simplified understanding that does the rounds with regard to employment references; not sure where you got the impression that academic references have to be universally positive.

    In both cases, there are legal dimensions - there can be a case for negligence if a student/employee's interests are harmed by a poor reference for which there is insufficient evidence. This means that, a lot of the time, references will only confirm the details of a student/employee's attendance record, dates of study/work, grade classifications, etc.

    However - this certainly does not mean that 'you cannot put anything negative on a reference'. If your personal tutor has serious doubts about your suitability for further academic study, for example, they care able (and I would argue, should be a obliged by their duty of care) to raise these concerns.

    Here is an example of a guide on academic reference writing from the University of Sussex which explains this in more detail: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/ogs/policies...cesforstudents

    Now, it is likely that a lot of the time, staff will simply provide generic references rather than take the risk of saying something negative that they're not 100% confident of successfully justifying if legally challenged. However, if something really is concerning, and on record, they can absolutely bring that up.

    Regardless, for postgrad study, you need strong references. Something generic or damnation by faint praise is not going to do you any favours. Someone can say perfectly nice things about you and directly recommend you for acceptance onto a particular course, but there's lots of ways to make that letter lukewarm and unenthusiastic without saying anything negative about the student at all.

    That said, judging by this and OP's other slightly weird thread, I don't think there's anything to particularly worry about here.
    They can miss out certain aspects from the reference, so if you're bad with time-keeping then it's said that it just wouldn't be mentioned rather than 'he's bad with time keeping' - the idea that it wasn't mentioned as a strong point would be more what you're directing to.

    A reference is to get an idea of the good aspects of the applicant, not to write why you don't think they'll be right for the position or course.
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    (Original post by liamjoseph)
    They can miss out certain aspects from the reference, so if you're bad with time-keeping then it's said that it just wouldn't be mentioned rather than 'he's bad with time keeping' - the idea that it wasn't mentioned as a strong point would be more what you're directing to.

    A reference is to get an idea of the good aspects of the applicant, not to write why you don't think they'll be right for the position or course.
    No it isn't. A reference is asked for on the understanding that a fellow professional will stake their professional reputation on the words they write. The legal standard for any reference is simply honesty.

    In normal professional life, this means that if you write something negative eg John is a shocking time keeper, you would be advised to have evidence to that effect, in case John doesn't get the job and the potential employer says it was because of the reference. If you have evidence that John was regularly late, then you are fine.

    However, in academia it is not so clear cut because of the power of academic judgement. Put simply, academic judgement is what it is, and if an academic says that they judge John's academic skills to be insufficient for higher study, they John has no call against this academic opinion. The next person either accepts that judgement or doesn't.

    So the personal tutor cannot stop you doing something directly, but they can give a bad reference, and the receiving end of the process can decide that's grounds not to proceed with an offer.
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    (Original post by liamjoseph)
    A reference is to get an idea of the good aspects of the applicant, not to write why you don't think they'll be right for the position or course.
    No, this is manifestly false, for all the reasons outlined in previous posts. If your personal tutor has a serious concern/good reason to believe that you're not suited to, say, a masters or a PhD, then they are well within their remit to say so.
 
 
 
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