Postgraduate Teachers in Higher Education

By Sep.23, 2009

Postgraduate students who teach are a vital part of the teaching staff at most universities. In the United Kingdom, it is estimated that up to 450,000 postgraduates have a teaching role. In the last decade there have been many changes in UK postgraduate education. This has included generic skills training and specifically exposure to teaching skills, as postgraduates have become increasingly involved in teaching on undergraduate programmes. The ability to effectively support learning when teaching or demonstrating is a key skill recognised by Research Councils UK. This gives explicit recognition to teaching as one aspect of the broader education of the postgraduate student.

Further, the professionalisation of teaching, including teaching competence, has led to recommendations that all lecturers, postgraduate teachers and part-time teachers should receive a minimum level of training and support for their teaching role.

In the United Kingdom, postgraduate teachers usually give lectures, seminars and practicals (demonstration) and often mark student assessment. The key characteristics that underpin teaching and learning in universities are: active learning, student-centred approaches, using a variety of assessment methods and the use of learning technologies.

Postgraduates who teach at Salford can take advantage of the teaching and learning programme and assessment workshops, offered in the Salford Postgraduate Research Training, starting in January 2010.   You can find other useful resources about teaching on the Higher Education Academy website (check your subject centre and the supporting new academic staff database), Vitae and the University of Salford Careers blog.

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