PASS Scheme
The PASS Scheme at London Metropolitan was established during 2014/15 via a pilot initiative has become an integral part of the University’s Strategic Plan as a mechanism to support students’ transition at entry level, enhance their learning achievement and reduce attainment gaps.


The scheme is implemented in the form of a course-embedded model in all undergraduate degree programmes, to boost academic success of students and cohort bonding. It is a non-remedial, peer-led approach to learning, whereby trained and paid second and third year student mentors (Success Coaches) provide academic coaching to first year students.


Success Coaches work in a semi-professional role in small-group sessions scheduled regularly and designed to supplement existing learning opportunities. Their role is not to re-teach content, but educate students through coaching techniques and inspire them through their own experiences as successful students in their subject area. The aim is to facilitate first year students’ development as independent learners. Compulsory PASS training for new and returning Success Coaches is provided by specially trained student peers under staff supervision.

For more information, contact Wilko Luebsen – PASS Scheme Administrator

What does the scheme entail?

Peer-Assisted Student Success (PASS) sessions are attached to a designated core level 3/4 module and may operate in different ways, as best suits the local context: e.g. Success Coaches may meet students in class (seminars, labs, workshops, studios) and/or in a prearranged meeting.

Success Coaches may also see students on one-to-one basis by individual arrangement.

Sessions focus on helping students with immediate learning needs/issues and may be used to:

• Clarify course/module and assessment expectations/ requirements

• Help students develop more effective study strategies and academic skills, to become more successful as independent learners

• Help students catch up

• Help students develop confidence

• Help students deal with personal issues and know where to get expert advice/support

What support does the University give?

The PASS Scheme is supported by the senior management team and forms a part of the University’s Strategic Plan.

The student mentors (Success Coaches) are being paid for their work and awarded a certificate of participation (HEAR) at the end of the academic year.

The intervention at London Metropolitan focuses on students’ academic studies, through the lens of building a community of practice.

The peer-led sessions are aimed at promoting deeper learning in their discipline and for the mentors (Success Coaches) as well as for the first year students, thereby consolidating course cohort identity.

How does it work?

As part of the PASS Scheme, ‘Success Coaches’ work with first year students on a weekly basis, either by assisting in class (seminars, labs, workshops) and/or by facilitating timetabled sessions for small groups or individual support.


 Partnership with the Students’ Union has been a feature of student engagement interventions – notably the collaboration between the SU and our Centre for Enhancement of Learning & Teaching (CELT) in our current ‘Academic Integrity’ project, involving a poster campaign and creation of a dedicated website for addressing plagiarism and fostering good academic practice.

The Students’ Union plays a direct role in terms of consultation with student reps on the new mentoring scheme proposals, publicising the recruitment drive for ‘Success Coaches’, providing advice on their training, promoting student involvement and helping with the evaluation of the pilot.

For training, a student-partnership approach is used where experienced Student Ambassadors/Success Coaches run workshops with prospective ‘Success Coaches’, who in turn will train the other mentors under staff supervision.

Video: Why did you join the scheme?

Video: What are the outcomes?

Who are Success Coaches and do they identify with the title?

Success Coaches help guide first year students through academic studies allowing them to develop as individuals and improve their understanding of course content.

Success Coaches also highlight what’s required in assessments and provide advice on different ways of working.

Success Coaches can draw on their own knowledge and experience of the course or subject area to facilitate student development and what it takes to achieve success. This includes:

• Working with students in a one-to-one or group setting

• Offering support to help students through important transitions in their study

• Assisting students in goal setting and meeting them

• Offering practical help when needed which may include referring students for more specialised help

• Taking part in training and prepared to use training tips and guidance

What are the main aims and principles of the scheme?

The PASS Scheme at London Met, established during 2014/15 via a pilot initiative, is now an integral part of the University’s Strategic Plan as a mechanism to support students’ transition at entry level, enhance their learning achievement and reduce attainment gaps.

The scheme is implemented in the form of a course-embedded model in all undergraduate degree programmes, to boost academic success of students and cohort bonding. It is a non remedial, peer-led approach to learning whereby trained and paid second and third-year student mentors (Success Coaches) provide academic coaching to first-year students.

Success Coaches work in a semi-professional role in small-group sessions scheduled regularly and designed to supplement existing learning opportunities. Their role is not to re-teach content, but to draw upon coaching techniques and their own experience as successful students in their subject area to facilitate first-year students’ development as independent learners.

What are the objectives of the scheme?

These sessions are attached to a designated core level 4 module and may operate in different ways, as best suits the local context: e.g. Success Coaches may meet students in class (seminars, labs, workshops, studios) and/or in additional timetabled sessions. Success Coaches may also see students on one-to-one basis in a prearranged meeting.

Sessions focus on helping students with immediate learning needs/issues and may be used to:

• Clarify course/module and assessment expectations/ requirements

• Help students develop more effective study strategies and academic skills, to become more successful and independent learners

• Help students catch up

• Help students develop confidence

• Help students deal with personal issues and know where to get expert advice/support.

Key benefits to students

Involvement in the PASS Scheme brings key benefits to first-year students. These include:

• A better understanding of course content, assessment tasks, criteria and standards

• An enhanced commitment to study and improvements in academic performance

• Access to advice on learning strategies and resources

• Helps to improve and apply metacognitive skills

It also helps to foster personal and professional development of Success Coaches, including deeper understanding of their discipline, confidence building, improved communication and organisational skills.

For both groups, engaging with peers helps integration in the University community and enhances social inclusion.

Key benefits to the University

The PASS Scheme provides numerous benefits to the University, particularly in the following aspects:

• Cost-effective way to increase student retention and progression rates

• Helps to provide crucial assistance during transition stages of students at entry level

• Enhances classroom experience and fosters student engagement on a peer-to-peer level

• Improves student engagement with their learning and celebrates a learning culture within the University

• Helps maintain high expectations and standards of learning at a course (programme) and faculty level

• Provides opportunity to develop student-staff partnership, thereby adding a collaborative dimension

• Gateway to promote and enhance usage of support facilities e.g. Student, Library, Career and Learning Development services

Key benefits to the sector

London Met’s PASS Scheme is a non-remedial approach to peer-led learning and implemented across all UG courses which can be seen as a unique approach of offering support to all students in their first year.

Here, a coaching approach has been adopted to encourage and empower students to become independent learners and feel more integrated as members of their courses and our University community. This is of importance in particular during the key transition stage when entering into Higher Education.

This approach has informed practice across other HE institutions through the REACT collaborative development programme and continuous evaluation of the scheme feeds into research in the sector and is disseminated via REACT.

If you would like more information in the scheme, please contact:

Wilko Luebsen - PASS Scheme leader w.luebsen2@londonmet.ac.uk