Oxford University Peer Support Programme | University of Oxford
The Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford
The Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford
Copyright © Oxford University Images / David Williams Photography -- All rights reserved. 

Oxford University Peer Support Programme

This training is for professionals who are currently setting up and/or running, or would like to set up and run a peer support programme in a university setting. The Peer Support Programme has run for the past 25 years, and we look forward to sharing our expertise with you.

Training for Peer Support Trainers, 21-24 August 2017

The course is both didactic and experiential and includes:

  • The theory behind Peer Support Programmes
  • Ideas about how Peer Support can run in your institution
  • Experiential sessions to understand the training material from both the student’s and trainer’s perspective
  • How to use feedback and facilitation skills for successful training
  • Troubleshooting problematic group situations
  • Top tips for successful training and supervision
  • A certificate on completion of the course

The course fee for the Oxford University Peer Support Programme Training for Peer Support Trainers is £700 for the four day all-inclusive course (21-24 August), £600 for the three-day Training for Peer Support Trainers (22-24 August), and £200 for the *one-day stand-alone course (21 August). The fee includes full access to all sessions, conference materials, coffee breaks and lunch on all four days of the course.

Please note: there is a separate cost of £50 for the electronic copy of the Peer Support in Colleges and Universities: a training manual, which will be available for purchase beginning on the third day of the conference. Details of purchase will be given out at the conference, and will be payable through PayPal.

*Bookings for the one day course will not be available until the 19th July

To register please go to the Oxford University Online Store -full payment of the conference fee is required when you register.

Optional conference dinner

Course attendees can also register for the conference dinner. Details about the venue and cost, and online booking will be available in August.  The dinner will be in the region of £28. The conference co-ordinator will send out details once registration has been completed.

Cancellation policy

The University of Oxford Peer Support Programme incurs expenses prior to the course, it is necessary to put in place the following cancellation policy: 

  • For cancellations received on or before 7 August 2017, the University of Oxford will refund 80% of the total registration cost
  • No refunds will be given after 7 August 2017
  • All cancellations must be sent by email to peersupportconference@admin.ox.ac.uk with the subject line “Cancellation”
  • No-shows are liable for the full conference fee

Day One - August 21, 2017

Setting up Peer Support in your Institution


Expectations of the trainers’ training

Introduction to peer support

Peer Support at Oxford University – theory and practice

What is peer support and what are the aims of a programme

Needs assessment—of universities, colleges, counsellors and students

What would a peer support programme look like in your institution?

  • Clarify aims of programme
  • How would it fit with other peer programmes in your university?
  • Where would it be located? (Counselling Service/Well-being Service/Student Services)


Setting up peer support

  • Funding and support from administration
  • Recruitment and selection
  • Where to locate peer support in your institution

Marketing the programme

  • Setting up programme
  • Recruitment of peer supporters


  • Model
  • Aims
  • Needs

Day Two

Training for Peer Support Trainers

Stepping into Peer Support

Experiential sessions (morning and afternoon)

  • Expectations
  • Confidentiality in Peer Support
  • What is Peer Support – revisited
  • Making connections in Peer Support
  • Core values in Peer Support
  • Specialised groups within peer support
  • Identifying challenges in peer support

Day Three

Training for Peer Support Trainers

Experiential sessions (morning and afternoon)

  • Effective listening
  • Making ourselves welcoming and approachable
  • Experiential Training Sessions (morning and afternoon)
  • Application of training material to your institutional needs
  • Group dinner

Day Four 

Training for Peer Support Trainers

(Experiential session morning, general group work afternoon)

  • Crisis and Suicide Prevention training in Peer Support
  • Signposting, referrals and self-care in Peer Support
  • Effective Supervision
  • Staying motivated: energy, stamina, passion and belief from training through to supervision
  • Troubleshooting

Here is what participants had to say about what they took from the course:

  • How to set up and run peer support
  • A better understanding of just how vital Peer Support schemes are, as well as the magnitude of what peer supporters do
  • A framework to use with our current Peer Support scheme to ensure we are striving for excellence and continuous improvement
  • A deeper understanding of experiential learning and teaching
  • Personal and emotional insight
  • Increased awareness of the emotional aspects the training raises for peer supporters
  • How strong the course is and the depth of the training
  • It was interesting working with basic counselling skills again—refreshing those skills and being more aware of their application
  • The high level of support in the group
  • The training has given me the confidence to go forward, set up schemes and to know I can train peer supporters to be safe and secure
  • Networking and contacts
  • Great group!

''The Training for Trainers course offered a really supportive , collaborative and shared learning space with other university Peer Support trainers to think together and share our experiences in beginning to set up or further embed the Peer Support training within our institutions. As facilitators you constantly encouraged us to share ideas and to share your experience and insights.

I am delighted to say that we now have  three King's Peer Support  teams up and running- the MSA ( Medical School Association) , the Graduate School and KCL Undergraduate teams  and a further  team,  the Law Peer Supporters   finishing off their training this week .  We hope to further embed this within King's over the next academic year and also train up two further Peer Support teams, in the Dental Institute and Management department.

Thank you again for all your positive input and continued encouragement- invaluable!"

Stevie Griffiths (Head of Counselling), Jo Levy (Deputy Head of Counselling), and Jim Spears (Psychotherapist/Specialist trainer), Kings College, London

The conference is being held during a busy time in Oxford, and it is therefore important that you book your accommodation as soon as possible. Below are some useful links or you may want to do your own search for accommodation: