Module code: GCAM016

Module Overview

This module focusses on the concept of mentoring of peers in contemporary higher education. By drawing on personal experiences of mentoring in combination with reflection upon the appropriateness of mentoring models and approaches across a range of different disciplines (i.e. Nursing, Psychology, Business and Education) in supporting teaching and learning in higher education. Participants will be encouraged to examine different conceptions of mentoring and how these are applied within different organizations. This will inform reflection upon how context influences the application to, and perceptions of, mentoring and will be supported through critiquing current models in collaboration with peers. Each participant will reflect upon how their personal and professional values inform their approach to mentoring and will design and apply a particular mentoring scheme to explore and then reflect upon how this could be applied to future practice. Completion of the module will support participants to develop a critical understanding, and to be better equipped to guide and shape the role of mentoring in transforming personal and professional development.

Module provider

Surrey Institute of Education

Module Leader

MEDLAND Emma (Sy Inst Educ)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

JACs code:

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Workshop Hours: 2

Independent Learning Hours: 120

Seminar Hours: 8

Guided Learning: 20

Module Availability

Year long

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Conceptions of teaching vary from the imparting of expertise to facilitation and there is a complex interrelationship between how this role impacts on, and is influenced by, learning. This module considers how peer mentoring can add to the complexity of our conceptions of the role of the teacher. In so doing, it aims to add a further richness to understanding how the role of the teacher adapts within a higher education environment, influenced by different elements that may include the discipline, the mentoring models and individual values.

The Module will consider the following areas:

  • What is mentoring - definitions and different conceptions:

Here we will consider the different definitions of mentoring and how these can lead to different conceptions. We will look at the broad history of mentoring, how the notion has evolved, what disciplines and examples exist in practice and the allied notions, such as coaching.

  • Underpinning themes - transformative learning

Here we will look at the underpinning themes related to the concept of mentoring. Alongside key aspects of adult learning theories we will consider the key element of transformative learning.

  • Mentoring in Higher Education - exploring current notions and expectations

Here we will look at how the notion of mentoring is experienced within higher education and in participants particular disciplines. This will include looking at national policy and the implications of this for mentoring approaches. How individual institutions implement approaches related to, or influenced by, conceptions of mentoring will be explored, as will how this may be understood and practiced at different disciplinary or departmental levels. This will consider notions of organizational dynamics and relationship to personal / professional values.

  • Models used for mentoring

Here we will explore a range of formal and informal mentoring models that are described in the literature. We will explore both common elements and elements unique to specific models appropriate to contemporary higher education in order to consider what can be learned from each. These models include: traditional dyadic models, mentoring circles, reverse mentoring, self-mentoring, online mentoring.

  • Effective peer mentoring - maximizing the impact

Here we will consider what makes an effective mentor with a view to developing practice by enhancing the impact of peer mentoring. Participants will consider different approaches, individual virtues and the personal / professional values that shape and support effective mentoring in contemporary higher education.

  • Challenges for mentoring - where mentoring fits in contemporary higher education

Here we will explore the challenges of mentoring caused by the contemporary landscape that may reward individualism and research over collective, peer supported notions of service. Participants will be encouraged to reflect upon the tensions emerging at the intersection between personal values and broader contexts (i.e. disciplinary / institutional / sector level).

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Reflection upon mentee / mentor experience (ILO1) 20
Coursework Mentoring scheme design (ILO2, ILO3) 30
Coursework Critique of mentoring scheme (ILO4, ILO5) 50

Alternative Assessment

As above

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate the module learning outcomes. Thus, the summative assessment (SA) for this module consists of:

  • SA1: A 500 word reflection upon your experiences of the mentee-mentor relationship (completed by week 3)

  • SA2: A 500 word mentoring scheme design as a poster and present your ideas (completed by week 5)

  • SA3: A 2000 word critique of the mentoring scheme (completed by week 13)

Formative assessment:

The module is predicated on a collaborative peer support model of engagement with additional tutor input offering opportunities for a range of formative feedback on ideas and approaches proposed and implemented throughout the module. Formative assessment will be provided in relation to each of the three summative tasks as follows:

  • SA1: Collaborative reflection during the initial workshop will support participants to begin identifying and analysing the key influences (i.e. prior experience, personal values, disciplinary norms etc.) upon their conceptions of the mentee-mentor relationship. Participants will be provided with an opportunity to share and develop their reflections via the online discussion board prior to submission of SA1;

  • SA2: A draft plan of the mentoring scheme design (i.e. SA2) should be submitted for formative peer and/or tutor feedback in week 3, in which participants will be asked to indicate how the focus of SA1 has informed the development of SA2. The poster presented for SA2 will receive peer and/or tutor feedback, which will support participants to begin critiquing their mentoring scheme in preparation for SA3;

  • Participants will be encouraged to share an outline of SA3 in week 11 for formative peer and/or tutor feedback, and will be expected to include an evaluation of how the formative feedback received over the course of the module (i.e. peer feedback, tutor feedback, feedback talk in sessions, online feedback in discussion boards, discussions with colleagues outside of the module etc.) has informed the development of the summative tasks and supported the development of their understanding of the mentee-mentor relationship since submission of SA1 in week 3.


The above formative assessments form the focus of the formal feedback that participants will receive throughout the duration of the module. However, within the context of this module feedback is conceived within its broadest sense to include not only the formative feedback opportunities identified in relation to the summative tasks, but also the feedback talk that takes place within synchronous sessions, within online discussion forums, as well as the module-related discussions outside of formal teaching that may take place with mentees / mentors or colleagues, for example. As such, the discursive approach of the module is built upon feedback as an interactive process that reflects the new paradigm of thinking within the feedback literature (e.g. Carless, 2015) and aims to support the development of participants and tutor¿s feedback literacy (e.g. Winstone & Carless, 2019).

Module aims

  • Reflect upon the role of prior experience, personal and professional values in shaping conceptions of the mentee-mentor relationship;
  • Provide an overview of the different definitions of mentoring and how these are translated into a range of applied models across diverse disciplines and practice-based environments with peers;
  • Encourage participants to develop an approach to peer mentoring that can be applied and critiqued within a higher education learning environment.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 LO1: Critically reflect upon the mentee-mentor relationship in relation to the literature and wider professional cultures of mentoring. KC
002 LO2: Examine different conceptions of mentoring to identify how these have evolved. KC
003 LO3: Analyse and assess approaches to mentoring that can be applied to your own disciplinary context. KCT
004 LO4: Devise and implement a mentoring plan to an identified area of higher education that encourages transformative learning. PT
005 LO5: Critically evaluate a mentoring approach that has been deployed. CP

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

encourage each participant to explore different conceptions of mentoring as they may apply within the different disciplinary locations they inhabit. The aims are therefore to provide opportunities that are meaningful to each individual, proving an opportunity for professional reflection and to inform the transformation of approaches. The strategy is based on providing participants with an overview of different conceptions of mentoring and their evolution in relation to their own practice. This will serve to scaffold experience and enable the interrogation of examples in order to apply key design principles in the planning of an approach that can be tested in practice.

Exploration and planning of this approach will be carried out independently. However, online synchronous and asynchronous activities will provide opportunities for collaboratively sharing, critiquing and developing responses to broaden as well as deepen understanding. The 'critical friend' perspective of peers and teaching staff will help ensure the developments are meaningful and significant to participants while also being grounded through effective evidence and justification.

Online seminars will be used to introduce material, to explore different applications and examples and subsequently to develop a space to share and debate how meaning can be applied and contested. These will be regularly scheduled to bring participants together to present and discuss their ideas and to offer different interpretations of the ideas presented.

The methods will include:

  • An initial workshop to exchange experience, agree definitions and approaches to the learning and teaching environment for the module itself (2 hours);

  • Synchronous seminars to debate and discuss ideas (2 hours x 4);

  • Asynchronous material including short recorded material, peer discussion boards and peer review (20 hours);

  • Independent learning which includes teaching and learning practice related to mentoring as appropriate (i.e. on the PGCert) (approx. 120 hours).

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list

Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: GCAM016

Other information


Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2023/4 academic year.