Peer assisted learning scheme (PALS)

Learning alongside other students on your course can give you a greater opportunity to discuss ideas, broaden your knowledge, gain confidence and make friends.

If your course has PALS then you will benefit from regular, coordinated Peer-Led Study Sessions planned and delivered by student PALS leaders from the academic year above. Your group will be small enough to work together, discussing ideas, completing tasks and checking understanding in a relaxed and friendly environment.

Your PALS leaders have regular contact with academics in your programme to ensure that PALS sessions are relevant and well planned.

What the students say

“PALS can be a good support network especially for those for whom University is a new experience and it is also a good way to make friends and expand on social networks.” 
“Good advice, not just educational but balancing life and work.”
“I have liked the relevance of the session to what we are doing at that specific moment. I also like the amount of info provided and the follow-through with relevant material emailed or posted on Facebook afterwards as promised. 
“Interactive, answered questions, consolidated knowledge, helpful leaders”
“PALS has been really helpful, especially for me being a mature student.”


“Gives clarity to issues and improves understanding. Very useful sessions, very well delivered.”

“They have been super helpful, answered all my questions about placements and essays. Brilliant with clinical skills for explaining.”
“Giving us the opportunity to interact with students who have done this course before.”
“Leaders are really friendly and helpful. Like the use of examples to help explain things and variety of topics.”
“Really enjoyed the sessions”

What the PALS leaders say:

“PALS has developed my own understanding of certain subject areas. It has built my confidence in public speaking and in explaining concepts.”
“Really good to be able to talk with 1st years to understand how they are feeling when things are unknown and new to them – I can relate this to my practice as a student social worker and also to how the service users/carers may be feeling.” 


“We have been able to evaluate our own learning and identify strengths and weaknesses.”

“The PALS scheme has encouraged me to both recap what I learnt last year whilst allowing me to meet and guide the first year students. I have enjoyed mixing my skills learnt as a swimming teacher and my accounting knowledge to benefit both myself and others.”
“Being able to help – real confidence booster that you understand content and can explain it well enough to help others.”

PALS: What is it and how will it benefit me?

PALS gives first and second years the opportunity to develop their study skills and revise course content in a relaxed environment. Sessions are run by trained and experienced PALS leaders who are regularly debriefed by programme academics.

“Relaxed learning environment, sharing ideas, learning with a sense of direction and understanding regarding our first essay.” (PALS student)


Being a PALS leader has influenced student nurse Sophie's studies, and has even led to her being shortlisted for a national award.

"I decided to do a proposal on the use of peer learning in adult nursing education because I've witnessed first hand the benefits of peer learning at Plymouth University".

So could you be a PALS leader?

Become a PALS leader

If you love PALS and your academic programme includes PALS, why not apply to become a PALS leader?

"The reaction from the students is great, and the feeling that you’re doing something worthwhile and helping them through their first term is even better."

Could you run regular study sessions? Lead discussion and revision? Encourage and develop academic skills? Do you want to develop your own skills?

Discover everything you need to know about becoming a PALS leader

Apply to become a PALS leader

PALS Gala Dinner – March 2017

Building on the success of our first ever gala dinner last year, this year’s event recognised the outstanding effort our leaders put into PALS over the academic year.

The Director of Student Services, Mel Joyner, warmly welcomed and congratulated our students, praising their commitment and wishing them every success for the future.

With over 30 courses represented at the gala dinner the event provides a fantastic opportunity for leaders to relax and have fun with like-minded students who are prepared to 'go the extra mile' for their peers.