Approaches to Teaching and Support
Most postgraduate researchers will have the opportunity to teach or demonstrate in their academic schools. Some research students may be employed as Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs). The University aims to ensure that any research student who teaches is well supported while undertaking this role. This training and support is provided through a variety of different means.
Module convenors are responsible for providing research students teaching or demonstrating on their modules with an induction, teaching materials and guidance on delivery methods. In addition to this, each academic school has a designated academic member of staff who is responsible for providing support to research student teachers and overseeing these teaching arrangements (please see Annex Q (Research Student Teachers and Demonstrators) of the Code for the Quality Assurance for Research Programmes of Study for more specific details about the responsibilities of the academic school and its staff members).
There are plenty of support and training opportunities available to research student teachers outside of their academic schools. The Graduate School, in conjunction with UELT (Unit for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching) provides a practical ‘Introduction to University Teaching’ session at the beginning of the academic year which provides an induction for students due to teach in Higher Education for the first time. As well as providing key information about the context of teaching in HE and the framework of UG study at Kent, the session also includes time for students to discuss their concerns, problem solve as a group, learn tricks of the trade and explore different approaches to teaching in faculty-specific breakout sessions. All new research student teachers/demonstrators are required to attend one of these sessions. To complement this introductory session, the Graduate School provides, as part of its Researcher Development Programme, further one-off workshops throughout the academic year. These workshops focus on specific aspects of teaching (e.g. Teaching with Technology and Work-Life balance). Students should review the content of these sessions on the online booking system carefully and select the ones which they feel would be most useful and relevant for them to attend.
The University offers the Associate Fellowship Programme (AFS) which is a formal qualification and has two routes: i) teaching routes, intended for academics, GTAs, part-time and sessional teachers currently contracted to undertake regular and direct teaching. The teaching route of the AFS is the two core modules which form part of the Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education (PGCHE). Due to over-subscription, it is strongly advised that students apply to this course early. Completion of the AFS is a requirement for some GTA scholarships, and completion of the PGCHE (or equivalent) is part of the probation conditions for new lecturers. Further information and details on how to apply for the AFS are available at: www.kent.ac.uk/teaching/qualifications/pgche