Student Life Adviser

University of Derby

Job details


The Registry

Responsible to

Student Life Manager


Kedleston Road, Derby Campus


£30,950 to £34,027 per annum, pro rata (for exceptional performers, there is scope for further progression up to £39,131 per annum, pro rata)

Closing date

Tuesday 2 January 2024

Contract type


Post type




About the role

About Student Services

Student Services provides a range of student support, information, guidance and development services across the University including, counselling, disability, mental health, financial support and other key services delivered centrally. These teams work closely together (and with other sections of the University) to provide the best possible services to our students, to enhance the student experience, to help students achieve their full potential and to meet the strategic aims of the University. These services are central to the student experience – they are visible, seamless, effective and tailored to the needs of our student community.

About the Role

You will co-ordinate the support for a case load of students with a wide range of disabilities and long-term conditions, making recommendations regarding access to courses and facilities and reasonable adjustments to meet individual needs, as well as providing specialist advice to disabled applicants. You will provide professional consultancy and advice to the University on the needs of disabled students, and collaborate with academic and professional services staff to develop and enhance inclusive and holistic approaches to meeting these needs within available resources. You will both co-create and deliver University wider training and awareness sessions relating to disability and you will have the opportunity to work on and contribute to several initiatives and projects designed to enhance current provision, positively impact the student journey and contribute to our strategic aims around inclusivity and accessibility.

What we need you to bring to the team

You will possess excellent knowledge of the statutory, regulatory and legislative frameworks that apply to student disability support and a sound understanding of the challenges of working within Student Services. This will be coupled with a degree level qualification and professional qualification relating to the area of disability (or equivalent applied experience) and / or membership of a professional body such as NADP (National Association of Disability Practitioners). You will be successful at building highly effective working relationships with a wide range of colleagues and adopt an insightful and pragmatic approach to the management of operations across the Disability Service and wider Student Services. You will need excellent verbal and written communication skills, and be able to work with people from a wide variety of backgrounds, experiences and expectations, demonstrating a commitment to equality of opportunity. The ability to work to deadlines in a busy support service environment is essential.

Please note this role is part time, 22.5 hours per week.

Interview Date – 12th January 2024

For further information and informal enquiries regarding the role, please contact Chris Ross, Deputy Head of Student Services – Disability via [email protected]

For enquiries regarding your application and for sponsorship eligibility, please contact the recruitment team via [email protected]  

Principal accountabilities

  • To provide a welcoming, supportive and knowledgeable service to students with a wide range of queries, either face-to-face, online, telephone and chat enquiries.
  • To resolve problems in relation to student advice on matters such as Student Finance England (SFE) funding, disability support (DSA) and other areas of wellbeing support within Student Services and act as the initial student point of contact for areas directed through the Student Life Service.
  • To efficiently and effectively answer queries at the initial enquiry stage wherever possible. To make a judgement when referral to a specialist advisor is necessary and to book an appointment ensuring that the advisor is appropriately briefed on the students’ query.
  • Provide 1-1 support and guidance to students who are having difficulties functioning or continuing their studies for non-academic reasons, to help them successfully engage with university life and avoid crises. This might include, for example, helping students access resources within and beyond the University, understand University policy/procedures, and develop necessary life skills and positive coping strategies.
  • Assist in managing the initial response to acute student crisis situations calmly, sensitively and efficiently, in conjunction with the Student Life Manager, other colleagues in Student Services and/or relevant University and external services.
  • Provide a first and point of contact for vulnerable students, those at risk of non-engagement and particularly those who may be reluctant to access professional services or students who are unsure of which support service to access. Offer a practical, problem-solving approach to help them engage successfully with their academic studies and appropriate support services.
  • Be passionate about a “student first” approach and actively seek feedback to measure the impact of the service delivery and review, identify and develop improvements to services working with the Student Life Manager.
  • Work in accordance with university policies and procedures, regulatory frameworks, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and other key legislation ensure accuracy and consistency in approach to making decisions and delivering processes based upon criteria. At all times work towards ensuring that service level agreements are met, which deliver the highest level of service to all students, internal customers and stakeholders.
  • Together with colleagues provide a ‘wellbeing drop-in’ and triage service to students helping them access appropriate services both within the University and externally.
  • To assist in the development and delivery of key wellbeing literature, online material and support for key student life cycle events such as induction, welcome week etc. design and deliver skills sessions, and contribute to wellbeing campaigns.
  • To work closely with academic tutors and colleagues in relevant student services to provide an appropriate and joined-up service for students experiencing mental health difficulties.
  • Use a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system to maintain up-to-date, professional notes, correspondence and records of individual cases, and contribute to an annual report on the work undertaken.
  • Support the embedding of data and monitoring and evaluation strategies to ensure a cycle of continuous improvement to ensure effective and improved service delivery.
  • Participate in external activities and organisations related to student support and wellbeing, where these benefit students and staff.
  • Contribute to raising awareness of Student Services within the student population through collaboration with colleagues within the Student Services, professional services and the Colleges. Prepare and deliver a range of advice and guidance sessions at various inductions, Open Day and admissions events throughout the year.
  • Person specification
    Essential Criteria

    • A degree or equivalent experience
    • A professional qualification (or equivalent applied experience) relating to one or more aspects of student services, and/or professional body membership


    • Excellent customer service skills and experience with a strong commitment to delivering a user focussed, professional service
    • Experience of working within a complex multidisciplinary team and fast paced office environment
    • Experience of offering individual support within a Higher Education or Further Education environment or a similar institutional context/age group
    • Experience of offering a wide range of interventions to individuals experiencing difficulties, providing appropriate advice and information, using creativity to resolve problems
    • Experience of developing and delivering training sessions to groups on a range of wellbeing related topics
    • Experience and confidence with a range of IT applications including MS Office and a willingness to develop expertise in the use of technology and social media
    • Experience of prioritising and operating to tight deadlines whilst under pressure
    • Experience of Safeguarding, “Cause for Concern” and related regulations and policies

    Skills, knowledge & abilities

    • Excellent interpersonal skills with the ability to deal sensitively with enquires from a diverse range of individuals, and de-escalate and manage potentially difficult or conflicting situations calmly and with confidence
    • Demonstrable knowledge of a range of support services and of how to effectively build community links
    • Demonstrable evidence of a proactive and positive, student-centred approach and an understanding of and commitment to the values, aims and objectives of the University
    • Ability to negotiate and work within appropriate professional boundaries, and to manage potentially difficult or conflict situations with confidence
    • Strong organisational skills, able to handle competing demands and priorities and remain focused, working autonomously whilst also working successfully in collaboration with colleagues
    • The ability to work collegially to engage with a wide range of colleagues/ teams at all levels, building relationships to effectively carry out the role/deliver the services
    • Good understanding of issues affecting students and potential barriers to accessing and succeeding in higher education

    Business Requirements

    • Willingness and flexibility to travel and work between University and external sites in a cost effective and timely manner as per business needs
    • A completed Enhanced DBS check


    As well as competitive pay scales, we offer generous holiday entitlement. We also offer opportunities for further salary progression based on performance, and the opportunity to join a contributory pension scheme.

    Find out more about pay and benefitsFind out more about pay and benefits

    How to apply

    You can apply by submitting an online application. Once you have signed in or registered with us you will be able to begin your application. If you are creating an account for the first time, please ensure you provide an email address that you access regularly as this will be our main means of contacting you regarding your application.

    • Apply online Apply online
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    • Advice on completing your applicationAdvice on completing your application

    If you require any assistance, including the provision of any documentation in an alternative format, please contact the Recruitment team at [email protected] .

    Please note all applications must be submitted online by Midnight GMT on the closing date of the vacancy.

    Important information

    Please note that unfortunately, this role will not attract sufficient points to obtain a sponsored Skilled Worker visa under the UK Visas & Immigration points based immigration system; however, applications are welcome from candidates who do not currently have the right to work in the UK, but who would be eligible to obtain a valid visa via another route..

    Please consult the Home office website for further information.

    DBS check

    If you are successful, you will be required to undertake a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. The post for which you are applying is exempt from Section 4(2) of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 requiring any spent convictions to be declared. Any information you provide will be treated in confidence and only used when considering your suitability for the post.

    To enable us to process your DBS check please ensure you are able to supply the documentation listed on the DBS website at interview stage.

    Equity, diversity and inclusion

    The University of Derby is committed to promoting equity, diversity and inclusion. However you identify, we actively celebrate the knowledge, experience and talents each person brings. Our students come from a wide range of backgrounds; therefore we are particularly interested to hear from applicants who will help our leaders and teams be more reflective of our student population.

    A university that celebrates youA university that celebrates you

    Further details

    Download Student Life Adviser job descriptionDownload Student Life Adviser job description

    Why join Derby?

    Challenging, interesting and constantly changing, the University of Derby is an extraordinary place to learn and an incredibly rewarding place to work.

    Find out more about working at the UniversityFind out more about working at the University

    We are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and vulnerable adults and expect everyone who works for us to also share this commitment and to treat people with courtesy and respect.

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