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Teaching opportunities for PhD students

Many PhD students will do some teaching or other departmental work in the School at some point during their studies. We see this as a way of providing you with invaluable experience and with a range of transferable skills, and of involving you more fully in the teaching and learning culture of the School. Teaching or departmental work are not, however, a requirement for PhD students, nor a right. For some students, it may not be appropriate to undertake teaching, and in all cases, the range and amount of teaching available will differ from year to year and may be limited.

Normally, students will not teach during the first year of PhD research, and may take on teaching duties during the second and possibly third years. Visa requirements and funding council rules, where relevant, may limit the number of hours which you are allowed to dedicate to paid work during your PhD study. In all cases, careful consideration is given, in consultation with both you and your supervisor, to the appropriate number of hours which you should commit to teaching or departmental work.

Training and support

The Director of Graduate Studies and the Head of your particular language department are responsible for assessing your suitability for teaching and for ensuring that the appropriate training has been offered. All PhD students who teach will have a Teaching Mentor, who will be an experienced member of staff in their department. Training is offered at School level, through an induction and training session organized at the start of the academic year and delivered by staff in the School in collaboration with staff from the Learning and Development Centre (LDC). Further, subject-specific support will be offered by academic staff within the relevant department, including review meetings throughout the teaching year.

If your teaching duties require you also to do marking and assessment, you will receive training in this area. All marks for formally assessed work are moderated by an experienced member of academic staff. Your mentor will meet with you regularly and observe your teaching at least once.

You also have the opportunity to be trained to different levels through the University's dedicated training programme for postgraduates who teach. As a minimum, you will be required to undertake basic online training in the form of the Preparing to Teach in Higher Education course before you begin to teach for the University. You then have the opportunity, if you wish, to progress to HEA accreditation and to the Postgraduate Award in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. The School strongly supports postgraduate students in completing professional training, though the decision to participate should always be made in consultation between the student, supervisor, and Head of language department.