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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 a range of professional / 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. Depending on their skills, previous qualifications and/or research specialism, students may be deployed as teachers across the School, outside their own section.

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: please check the terms of your funding, your visa, and right to work in the UK.

In all cases, careful consideration is given, in consultation with both you and your supervisor(s), 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 the relevant language section are responsible for assessing your suitability for teaching and for ensuring that 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 Academic Development Centre. Further, subject-specific support will be offered by academic staff within the relevant section, 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(s), and Head of section.

Teaching and Related Professional Skills Development Opportunities Outside SMLC

Suitably qualified PhD students may also teach for departments and Schools beyond SMLC, if appropriate opportunities and/or teaching needs arise: keep an eye out for Graduate Teaching Assistantships that are advertised as internal vacancies on the Human Resources website.

There may also be opportunities for developing teaching experience outside Warwick, e.g. through the SMLC's Widening Participation activities in collaboration with schools and charities such as Routes into Languages, through an M4C partner such as The Brilliant Club, or a range of organisations working with Warwick Volunteers.

As always, priority must be given to your thesis. So you must discuss these extra-curricular activities with your supervisor(s) and/or consult with the Director of Graduate Studies, and make sure that appropriate checks and balances (e.g. risk assessments, right to work, Disclosure and Barring Service checks...) are in place.