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Sessional Teacher Information

The Undergraduate and Postgraduate Taught portals contain essential information about teaching and learning. Course structure, module descriptions, and the relevant handbooks can all be accessed there. This page contains additional information for sessional teaching staff.

We endeavour to ensure sessional teachers have permission to access relevant departmental webpages. If you are denied access to a page you think you should have access to, please ask Darani to change the permissions.

Marking and moderation

Please use the sociology marking criteria, and use the University 20 point scale for awarding marks. Click here for undergraduate criteria and scale. Click here for PGT criteria and scale.

These guidelines apply to feedback for most formative and summative assessments, but do not apply to exams or to assessments for which the following questions/issues may be inappropriate.

Comments may address intellectual content or knowledge and understanding, analysis, organisation, accuracy, relevance, presentation and appropriate skills. In giving feedback on assessments, the following questions should serve as a guide.

· What has been done in the assessment?
· What is good about the assessment?
· What are some of the problems with the assessment? How could those issues be addressed or improved?
· What general improvements can the student focus on for future assessments?

Feedback should

· consist of a minimum of 8 to a maximum of 20 sentences.
· reflect the mark awarded.
· aid students in improving future work.
· be spellchecked and edited for clarity.
· meet the standards of the University’s Equal Opportunities statement.See 'downloads' for copies of the moderation form and for guidance on using turnitin.

Formative work only

Formative work is usually marked by the seminar tutor. The module convenor should provide guidance to seminar tutors as to what constitutes appropriate feedback for the specific formative task. The module convenor may decide to moderate a sample of formative marking.

Formative work is usually submitted and marked using tabula. Turnitin is not applied to formative work.

Summative work only

Summative work is submitted and marked using tabula. Turnitin is used as a plagiarism detection tool. See 'turnitin guidance' document on the right of this page for further advice.

Except for dissertations, where both first and second markers provide comprehensive comments, it is the first marker’s responsibility to give substantial feedback. Then the moderator will look at a sample. The form used for moderation is available on the right of this page.

Working with students

Equality and diversity

The university's equality and diversity policies can be found here. The Sociology department has an Equality and Diversity committee, chaired by Hannah Jones. Contact Hannah for details of meetings, to which all are welcome.

Gender neutral pronouns

A growing number of our students are recording gender-neutral titles and names, and want us to recognise that fact when we engage with them in writing and in person. Therefore, we’d encourage you to consider the following:



  • When familiarising yourself with your personal tutees’ Tabula profiles, it’s worth checking the details for their name and title, which appear next to their picture. Some students choose non-binary titles, such as Mx, and these students often also use non-binary pronouns, such as “they”. If the “official name” and the “preferred name” stated are different, please use the preferred name.


  • When writing documents for students – handbooks, modules, etc – avoid sentences which only provide two gender options (e.g.” the student should speak to her/his personal tutor”) and replace them all with the gender-neutral “they” (i.e. ” the student should speak to their personal tutor”).

Seminar teaching

Most of the teaching done by sessional teachers is in seminars. Resources to assist with small group teaching can easily be found through a web search. The HEA provides some resources, although its website is incredibly awkward.

Here is some guidance for small group teaching.

Here is a review of the challenges of large group teaching.

Please send any further suggestions for source material to include on this page to the Director for Teaching and Learning (Lynne Pettinger 2018/19).

Employment of Sessional Teachers


Within Sociology, doctoral students have the opportunity to become Sessional Teachers. Sociology advertises the part-time teacher vacancies to all PhD students (except those in the first year of their Phd study) within the department. You will be invited to apply by a certain date (this usually happens around April) you will be requested to apply in the form of a letter expressing the modules that you would like to be considered for and your motivation for applying. You will also be asked to submit a short CV specifying what you take to be your AOS (Areas of Specialisation) and AOC (Areas of Competence), a 300 word statement of your teaching sociology, and a ranked indication of the modules you are interested in teaching. You will have more chance of success if you are reasonably flexible about this. You will be required to provide a reference from your supervisor on your suitability and readiness for teaching. On ocassions where we have not been abe to fulfill our teaching needs with Sociology PhD students, we make the positions available to external candidates.

If you are successful, you will be asked to attend an interview with the Director of Teaching and Leraning, Director of Undergraduate Studies together with the Departmental Administrator so that all applicants are considered together, asked the same questions, and tested against one set of criteria. The panel will then decide who should teach, how many seminars and on which modules. This will ensure that equal opportunities policies are adhered to.


Sociology provides subject-specific training in conjunction with the Learning and Development Centre (LDC). Completion of this training is a requirement for part-time teachers in Sociology.

The University's Learning and Development Centre runs training programmes to give sessional teachers HEA Fellowship. Link is on the right of this page.


Sessional Teachers Committee meets once per term. Agendas and minutes are available on the right of this page. Two sessional teachers act as representatives.

One sessional teacher representative is invited to the Teaching and Learning Committee, where teaching policy and practice is decided.

One sessional teacher representative is invited to the Department Meeting.

In 2019/20, Wendy Eades and Nicholas Greenfield are the representatives