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Historical Insights: Teaching as a Phd Student

This booklet is aimed at those early career researchers who are teaching for the first time.

It is increasingly common for PhD students to teach on top of undertaking research. This work has a number of purposes for students and universities alike. On the most basic level it enables universities to cover their teaching responsibilities while PhD students can use the money towards fees and living costs. Yet teaching enables PhD students to develop a range of transferable skills while building up vital work experience should they decide to follow a career in academia. Teaching can also help PhD students to learn how to communicate their research findings clearly to a range of different audiences as well as drawing out the broader contexts of their topic. However it is still additional work on top of the already heavy demands of a PhD. It is essential that PhD students are aware of the responsibilities as well as the advantages of teaching during their studies and that they are able to balance teaching and research effectively.

The degree of preparation and training that PhD students are given for their first teaching jobs varies from institution to institution as do opportunities for teaching. While many students are able to benefit from postgraduate certificates in teaching validated by the Higher Education Academy it is not unusual for students to be given teaching work without any formal training or support in place. Those who are working on a PGCHE or similar course may find that they are working alongside students and probationary lecturers from a range of disciplines and would welcome more disciplinary discussion.

tg_bradley_teachingasaphd_20090925.pdf View Document

The materials published on this page were originally created by the Higher Education Academy.