Student volunteering

University students are fantastic tutors and role models for our pupils, and gain valuable experience in return. From building your CV, to developing key skills around communication, organisation and planning, volunteering with Action Tutoring can truly support you throughout and beyond your degree.

You can volunteer with us as part of a placement or work experience module, or independently for as a little as one hour per week.


University volunteer placements

Choosing Action Tutoring for your university placement is a rewarding way to make a difference to the lives of disadvantaged young people.

Through a placement with Action Tutoring, you’ll support 1-3 young people across 10–20 weeks (or longer depending on the timeframe of your placement). You’ll help them build their maths or English subject knowledge, confidence and study skills ahead of their SATs or GCSE exams.

Hear from our previous placement students

“The aims of my placement were to gain valuable and transferable skills for both my degree and my future career. My placement with Action Tutoring has more than helped me reach these, specifically in confidence, planning, and time-management. It was amazing and it has truly made me want to pursue more tutoring roles in the future. My decision was not so certain before this placement so thank you so much!”

“There was always support around if needed, both through email and in person at schools. Fellow tutors were also very helpful if there was anything I was unsure about, so I was never left feeling overwhelmed.”

Interested to know what you can learn? Elsie, an English Language student from the University of Liverpool, explains five things she learnt while on placement with us.

Student volunteering modules

Some universities offer volunteering modules as part of your degree. The aim of the modules are usually to enhance your CV, particularly if you’re hoping to work in the public or voluntary sector. In most cases you’ll be asked to keep a reflective journal to help you think about your experiences and the transferable skills you’re gaining.

Volunteering with Action Tutoring is a flexible way to build your hours these modules. Signing up to tutor on one programme means a commitment of an hour per week across 10-20 weeks. To build hours, you can sign up to multiple programmes. To diversify your experience, you can choose to work with different year groups (Year 5, 6, 7, 10 or 11), tutor a different subject (maths or English) or even tutor children from different cities as an online tutor.

We offer both in-person and online opportunities. Find out more about where we work.

Volunteer for one hour per week

Volunteering doesn’t have to be related to your course. If you want to sign up as a tutor independently from your university, you can!

Can you advocate for us?

If you’re a current student volunteer and interested in representing Action Tutoring within your university as an advocate, email

Activities could include sending introductory emails to your networks or societies, organising a fundraising event, or supporting one of our staff members at a fair, on a university stall or in a presentation. Another fantastic opportunity to add to your CV! 

Student volunteering FAQs

What’s the time commitment for your volunteers?

To volunteer as a tutor, you only need to commit to one hour each week. We have online as well as in-person opportunities, which often works well for those with a busy schedule or less able to reach our school locations. 

What skills and experience do I need?

All tutors must meet the criteria listed below, or have equivalent qualifications, training or work experience. We have refined this criteria over our years of operation and it is in line with other peer organisations.

  • Educated to degree level, or to be studying for a degree
  • Achieved a B grade (or above) at A Level (or an equivalent qualification) in the subject they wish to tutor
  • Evidence of strong communication skills
  • Experience working with young people, or able to demonstrate that they would have the skills required
  • Empathetic towards the young people we support
I haven’t worked with children before. What support will I receive?

We provide all of our tutors with training and workbooks to use in sessions, a DBS check and travel expenses up to £5 per session if volunteering in-school. You’ll also have in-session support from a Programme Coordinator.

I’m on a student visa. Does this activity count as volunteering or voluntary work?

In December 2020 our charity sought legal advice to review our volunteering activity and determine how it should be categorised. Following their research they concluded that our tutoring opportunity is volunteering, not voluntary work, as our tutors do not work under a contract. Tutors can choose from a selection of times to support (they are not bound by a specific time); there is no payment in kind and no penalty if they drop out.

What if my question isn’t answered here?

Read our full list of FAQs, or contact

Watch the video below to learn more about the impact of our work:

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