UG Handbook - Departmental study support

There are lots of sources of support on the VLE page 'Academic Skills (Psychology)' including a series of videos, content on writing support, and self-test quizzes. Please make sure you take some time to look over this VLE site.

International Students

The Department is proud to have a mixture of undergraduate students from different cultures and nationalities. We know that coming to live and study in a new country can be daunting and you may need some support to help you adjust to life in York. The Department recognises the difficulties international students face and has a support tutor for International Students.

The tutor is here to provide academic and pastoral support to help students adjust to life at York.  In addition, students can register for a range of language support services throughout the year offered by the Writing and Language Skills Centre

Should you require support with the issues mentioned above or any other issues please contact the department's support tutor for international students, Dr Gavin Phillips.

Policy on proof reading

Proof reading may take many forms such as:

  • A student asking a third party to check through a piece of work to identify areas where clarity of communication could be improved and/or accuracy of spelling, formatting, labelling and referencing.
  • A student for whom English is not their first language asking a peer or professional service to read through draft work to identify language errors and issues with clarity of meaning as part of the student’s ongoing language development.
  • A research student asking a peer or professional service to read a thesis/project report to identify typographical errors or passages where the clarity of meaning could be improved.


The Department approves the following types of proofreading: 

The identification and correction of errors related to:

  • Word usage (excluding Psychology specific terminology)
  • Spelling, punctuation, capitalization, italics, abbreviations, headings, quotations, metrification, numbering, citations, references, tables, illustrations, footnotes and appendices (according to APA guidelines).

The identification (not correction) of issues related to:

  • Grammar and syntax
  • Clarity of expression
  • Voice and tone
  • Issues with logical sequencing and linkage between sentences and paragraphs
  • Ambiguity
  • Repetition

Proof reading should not involve the proof reader in:

  • Adding or rewriting phrases/sentences/sections of essays for other students
  • Rearranging passages of text, sequence of code or section of other material
  • Reformatting the material
  • Contributing additional material to the original
  • Checking calculations or formulae
  • Rewriting formulae, equations or computer code
  • Re-labelling figures or diagrams

Guidance for students

  • The student bears the sole cost of services rendered by a professional proof-reader, therefore students are advised to agree on a payment rate, overall cost and timescale before the procedure begins.  The contract is a private matter between the student and proof-reader.
  • Students should provide the proof-reader with a copy of the University’s guidelines regarding proof-reading (see definition above) and ensure that the proof-reader accepts the conditions included in them.  The student should also provide the proof-reader with the department’s specific reference formats (APA guidelines) and other appropriate writing guidelines.
  • In order to prove the extent/limits of the proofreading, it is necessary for the student to keep a copy of the edited/corrected work.  This copy may then be produced should any challenge arise concerning the degree of guidance given.  This copy should be kept until the student’s degree has been conferred.  If the student has no proof as to the advice which was given, this could have serious consequences for the marks awarded for their work and for their degree classification.
  • Responsibility for producing the final draft and for authorship of the work lies completely with the student.  Blame for inaccurate or inappropriate proof-reading which results in a lower grade is not the responsibility of the proof-reader and will not constitute mitigating circumstances.  It is up to the student to accept or ignore the advice and corrections suggested by a proof-reader.
  • Third year project students should always consult their supervisor before seeking the services of a professional proof-reader.
  • Students must formally acknowledge the use of a proof-reader in their final version.

To contact the Student Documentation maintainers please email (use your University of York email address).