A Participatory Action Research study on the impact of Peer Assisted Student Support (PASS) and Supplemental Instruction (SI) by international PhD students

Catherine Hayes, John Anthony Fulton


Using a Participatory Action Research (PAR) approach, this evaluative research study gives an insight into the implementation of a pilot study of a newly implemented Peer Assisted Student Support (PASS) and Supplemental Instruction (SI) Programme. The focus of the study involved six postgraduate PhD students delivering a PASS/SI scheme to cohorts of MSc Public Health, MSc Nursing and MSc Psychosis and Complex Mental Health Interventions students, all undertaking their final dissertations.The study was used to illuminate the degree to which PASS and SI were perceived to impact on the overall student experience as part of a quality enhancement initiative. Findings of the study revealed that the programme had positively impacted on both PASS/SI leaders and participants of the scheme, who reported increased confidence and an increased sense of social inclusion and belonging to the institution respectively. Being facilitated by students who had experienced the same academic pathway was perceived to have widened networking opportunities and to have positively impacted on the capacity of the participants and leaders to build relationships and prepare skills of direct relevance to the requirements of an employer such as teamwork and initiative.


Peer Assisted Student Support; Supplemental Instruction; Postgraduate Education; Participatory Action Research; Student Experience

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ISSN: 1759-667X