6th Mar


Information session about teaching and being an associate tutor.

*UPDATE* – recordings and documents from this session have been added to the SyD page https://studydirect.sussex.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=15730&topic=3  Or go to:

  • Study Direct
  • ► MFM Research Event Recordings
  • ► PhD Seminars 2012-13: Audio & Video Recordings
    • MFM Research event recordings

Notes from ‘Teaching’
PhD Research-in-Progress Seminar
Wednesday 6th March 2013 4.30-6pm

Tina O’Donnell

  • http://www.sussex.ac.uk/tldu/associatetutors for lots of info
  • There are two routes into being at AT (see doc on SyD for more info)
  • New Associate Tutors (ATs) are assigned a mentor, usually the course convener
  • Talk to your supervisor before you apply, as teaching alongside a PhD makes it difficult to manage your time and can be stressful
  • If you want to be an AT – email Tina (for email address, see this doc on SyD)
  • List of training sessions and events: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/tldu/events/tldevents

Kate Lacey

  • Why teach?
    • Career development
    • Research development – find out about the wider field
    • ATs develop a different relationship with faculty
    • Gets you out of your isolated PhD bubble
    • Get paid
  • Bear in mind how it will fit with your PhD life
    • There is a 6 hour/week limit for FT students (which is LOTS more than it sounds)
    • We sometimes prioritise teaching over research – be careful to avoid this as much as possible
  • Application process
    • Reflect on the statement about why you want to teach
    • What could you bring to the mix?  Draw on your own experience both of life generally and as a student specifically
    • Say what kind of topics you’d be comfortable teaching, rather than listing lots of modules
    • The interview will ask you about your experience.  This can include relevant experience of, say, public speaking – doesn’t have to be teaching specifically
    • The interview will also ask subject-specific questions
    • Media Practice tutors will also have to do a skills test
    • If PT, you can still apply in your 2nd year
    • Note you can apply to teach in other Schools, but they’ll have a separate application process
  • Being an AT
    • Passing the interview means  you get put into a pool of tutors (you’re not guaranteed a job at all at this stage)
    • The School identifies how many teaching hours they need to be fulfilled by ATs, then there’s an internal process to allocate teaching
    • You usually won’t teach in the first term
    • You’ll generally teach on 1st or 2nd year ‘survey courses’
    • You’ll teach seminars (not lectures)
    • Seminars are usually 1.5 or 2 hours long
    • You should get good (weekly) support from the module convenor
    • Peer observation of teaching gives you good feedback
    • Module evaluation forms (filled out by students) also give good feedback


  • Join the UCU!
  • You get paid £14.25ish/hour.
    • You get paid to attend lectures on the course.
    • You get paid for 1 office hour a week.
    • You get paid a 3x multiplier for your teaching hours (e.g. a 2 hour seminar, you get paid for 6 hours of work)
      • This covers your 1 hour of teaching, 1 hour of preparation, and 1 hour of marking time (the marking time all comes in one big chunk at the end!)
      • Make the most of your module convenor’s support
      • Make the most of your peers’ support – use the AT room when planning lessons and you can bounce ideas of others
        • The courses don’t often change (much) from year to year, so others are likely to have taught the same seminars before

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