Making Transitions Personal

Information about the Making Transitions Personal approach, including pre-arrival.


Research highlights the importance of engaging with students early on in their higher education transition, to help them feel part of the university, understand what is expected of them, increase their engagement and support their goals and aspirations with relevant tasks and activities (e.g. Crosling et al., 2009; Thomas, 2012).

‘…activities need to be informative, useful and relevant to students’ current interests future and aspirations; the potential benefits of engaging should be explicit to students’.

Thomas (2012)


Making Transitions Personal Framework

Making Transitions Personal is an approach designed by the University to assist schools in enhancing students’ transitions through University.

Previous work and piloting identified five elements for engaging with students to support their transition and short- and long-term success.

This framework supports staff to work with students from the outset of a student transition to consider their motivations, aspirations, and expectations, and to explore the actions and support that can help address these.  These can then be followed-up each year to help support the student’s development and transition throughout University and make their University experience more positive, personal and productive.

The five elements

The elements are outlined below and can be used for new students or those entering a new year of study.   Applying these will support staff in helping their students make the most of their time with the University and in particular their year ahead, while also strengthening the connection between school/deanery and student.


Putting the five elements into practice

There are many ways to build the elements into your provision, either through a single initiative or through separate activities that address different parts of the elements.  Whichever you choose, it is important to:

  • review your provision against the full set of elements
  • tailor the elements to support your setting and your students
  • select the timing to align with other communication and initiatives and to give sufficient opportunity for students to engage.

Pre-Arrival and Start-of-Year Reviews

The Making Transitions Personal (MTP) Pre-Arrival Reviews are one of the most complete ways to build the five elements into local provision and to encourage a personal connection with students from the earliest stages.  

For overview information, please visit the MTP Pre-Arrival Reviews section of the Pre-Arrival and Induction SharePoint site.

Pre-Arrival Reviews (Pre-Arrival and Induction SharePoint)