Specialist Mentoring Service

What is Specialist Mentoring?

Our qualified Specialist Mentors offer 1:1 sessions with students at the University of Portsmouth. Our service aims to empower students to develop specific strategies that enable them to overcome barriers to learning and life.

Specialist Mentoring can:

  • Develop a better understanding and acceptance of any challenges and how they may impact university life and academic study
  • Develop relevant strategies that encourage successful and independent management of lifestyle and studies
  • Have dedicated time to set goals that help with challenges, reflect on their experience of university and celebrate achievements
  • Monitor progress throughout the academic year and review any goals set during sessions
  • Manage time effectively, prioritise tasks and improve organisational and planning skills
  • Develop skills that can be used after university and applied in other areas of life
  • Have good communication with university staff and support services and ensure students know where to access wider support

Specialist Mentors cannot support with:

  • Proofreading
  • Academic teaching
  • Counselling / medical advice
  • Advocacy

However, students will be signposted to and supported to access the most appropriate services and support when needed. Please note that we are not an emergency service.

If you need further information, please contact ahspecialistmentoring@autismhampshire.org.uk or call 01489 880 881 ext 825.

How do students access the mentoring service?

Our sessions are delivered in a private 1-1 setting and can be offered remotely through Microsoft Teams or a phone call. Sessions can be offered in person where possible. To access the mentoring service, students will need to be referred by a funding body. This can either be internally at university, or externally through government schemes. Please see below for information on how to access this service.

DSA Funded Students (SFE/SAAS/SFNI/SFW)

Students may be awarded Specialist Mentoring support after a Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA2) Needs Assessment has taken place and a DSA award has been confirmed by the student’s funding body e.g. Student Finance England.

When a DSA award of Specialist Mentoring has been confirmed, Autism Hampshire may have been selected as a provider of this support. In this instance, the student is welcome to contact the team directly to access their mentoring support by emailing:


The Mentoring Service will need a copy of the DSA2 letter.

Alternatively, the student may be referred by their Disability Officer, and a member of the Specialist Mentoring team will contact the student with the information provided.

Further information can be found here: Disabled Students Allowance

Non-DSA Funded Students (ASDAC)

Students may be awarded Specialist Mentoring support through the Additional Support and Disability Advice Centre (ASDAC) at the University of Portsmouth. Disability Officers will refer students directly into our service and a member of the Specialist Mentoring Team will contact the student with the information provided.

International students, or students who are ineligible for a Disabled Students’ Allowance award, can access further advice regarding their support options from their Disability Officer through the ASDAC website. If you feel you are eligible for specialist mentoring and study at the University of Portsmouth, please contact ASDAC who can arrange an assessment.

Further information can be found here: Additional Support and Disability Advice Centre (ASDAC)

Wellbeing at University of Portsmouth

If you feel you need wellbeing support at University, please click here for more information: Student Wellbeing Service

"My mentor was always accepting of my struggles and happy to help provide techniques for things like work management and uni issues. It was also helpful that they made it as accessible as possible." "My mentor is very encouraging and helps to break down tasks and organise my time. They remind me of what is important to me which keeps me motivated." "They have really helped me manage many aspects of my university life this year." "Its been great being able to talk to someone who can see everything from a different erspective. They have really helped me manage and organise my time and feel like mytasks were more achievable after talking to them in the Mentoring Sessions."

DSA Non-Medical Help Rates

The DSA non-medical help rates are listed per hour in the table below.

Band 4 Specialist Access and Learning Facilitators Standard Rate (in-person) Remote Delivery (e.g. Facetime/Skype or similar) Only
Total Net VAT Total
Specialist Mentor – Mental Health £66 £0 £66 £66 £0 £66
Specialist Mentor – AS £66 £0 £66 £66 £0 £66

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