Peer support

Peer support

Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) and Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS) are two of many student support initiatives at Macquarie. Both programs involve experienced students running weekly study sessions/workshops for their peers to help with learning and academic transition.

PAL/PASS for students

PAL/PASS sessions are designed to deepen your understanding of the unit content while acquiring transferable study skills. In these sessions, you will develop study techniques, improve communication skills and group interaction skills.

PAL/PASS leaders structure the sessions to ensure a collaborative learning environment. The PAL/PASS leader’s role is not to teach or provide you with the answers, but to enable you to develop the skills to find the answers yourself.

Student benefits

  • Build self-confidence by learning how to review and question unit material in a supportive peer-based environment.
  • Develop learning strategies that can be applied to other subjects throughout your university experience.
  • Get tips and hints from experienced students who have previously completed the units.
  • Make friends, network and become part of a supportive learning community.

Fact: Students who attend these sessions consistently produce higher results than those who do not attend.


Each Faculty updates PAL/PASS timetables each semester.

Business and Economics

Contact: Ammy Kwong

View FBE PAL/PASS timetables

Human Sciences

Contact: Radha Pathy

View Human Sciences PAL timetable.

Medicine and Health Sciences


Science and Engineering

Contact: James Downes


PAL/PASS facilitator (leader) roles provide eligible students with on-campus leadership and employment opportunities. Interested students are required to meet some standard selection criteria to be eligible:

  • must be a current Macquarie student
  • have previously completed the nominated subject and achieved a grade of Distinction or better, or demonstrated academic excellence in a comparable subject
  • completed at least 24 credit points
  • maintained a GPA of 3 or above (or equivalent as per the Assessment Policy)
  • be available for training in PAL/PASS leadership, or have previously completed a minimum of 14 hours recognised training
  • solid communication skills and strong English proficiency
  • provide students with opportunities to network and build relationships with other students, university staff and academics
  • enhanced knowledge of subject material
  • development of leadership and team work skills.

PAL/PASS facilitator benefits:

Note: Each Faculty may also determine additional eligibility and selection criteria for PAL/PASS leader. Faculty contact details are provided below if you would like more information.

The PAL/PASS policy and procedure can also provide you with more information.

Frequently asked questions

Do I need to register to attend?

No, you don't have to register. Just pick a session that suits your timetable and attend it.

Can we get help with assignments and tutorial homework?

PAL/PASS Leaders are not allowed to help with assignments and homework. You will need to attend tutor consultations and UC consultations to get that type of help.

Who is this program for?

PAL/PASS is for everyone. Students help each other learn in PAL/PASS sessions and all together they get to understand the concepts better. PAL/PASS is not targeting students, it is targeting difficult and challenging units.

Is PAL/PASS compulsory and do I have to attend PAL/PASS every week?

PAL/PASS is not compulsory and it is up to you when and which week you would like to attend. However, as the PAL/PASS results have shown, students who attend more sessions perform better. Regular attendance can also keep you organised.

If my PASS/PAL session includes worksheets can the answers to the worksheet be provided to us if we miss a session?

PAL/PASS Leaders design PAL/PASS worksheets and they don't include answers. The PAL/PASS class will work together to solve the worksheet. If you miss a session, the best we can do is provide you with the worksheet and you will need to spend time solving it. If you want the answers we will have to come to the PAL/PASS sessions.

I am not doing well in my units. Who can I speak to?

If it is a unit related question, contact the Unit Convenor or your tutor. Generally, consultation times are available on the unit iLearn page.

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