Skip navigation to content

Support for Postgraduate Researchers who Teach

The University's policy on Doctoral Students who Teach (PDF, 372 KB) requires that "doctoral students employed to teach or assess receive appropriate development for this purpose". This includes completing the mandatory courses provided by the Centre for Educational Enhancement and Development (CEED) as well as "appropriate training and support throughout their time teaching" provided by the Schools.  CEED also provides additional support that postgraduates can access if they wish.  These options are all detailed in the information given below.

Research postgraduate students who are planning to do any teaching should familiarise themselves with the policy, and read through the information below.

The mandatory courses will run in academic year 2020-21, although the format will be significantly different from previous years in light of social distancing requirements. More information will be posted here in due course.

Mandatory courses

Must be completed before engaging in any teaching activities.  Workshops in August, September, October and January to accommodate different start dates.

The purpose of the workshops is to ensure all postgraduate and other part-time teachers have a basic understanding of the Scottish higher education environment, awareness of relevant St Andrews policies and the range of support available for students, and grounding in the basic skills they will need to teach groups of students and to mark student work effectively. 


Students must also complete the online course Diversity in the Workplace (opens in a new window) before attending these workshops listed below. The online course Training in Good Academic Practice should have been completed as part of matriculation. Research staff doing a small amount of teaching can email CEED@ to ask to be added to the staff version of TGAP.


The workshops run from 1-5pm.  Students hoping to teach this academic year should sign up for one Tutoring and one Assessment workshop.  If students are unable to attend one or both of the workshops on the day their Faculty meets, they may attend the session for a different Faculty. Students can book a place on these workshops through Personal Development Management System (PDMS). PDMS will provide full workshop details including delivery format and content. Students should, where possible, attend the workshops just before the semester in which they first start teaching.


Tentative Semester 1 dates:


Tutoring & Demonstrating: An introduction (cross-Faculty)

Wed 26 August 2020

Assessment & Academic Misconduct: An introduction (cross-Faculty)

Thur 27 August 2020


Tutoring in the Arts: An introduction

Tue 8 September 2020

Assessment & Academic Misconduct (Arts): An introduction

Wed 9 September 2020


Tutoring & Demonstrating in the Sciences: An introduction

Thur 10 September 2020

Assessment & Academic Misconduct (Science): An introduction

Fri 11 September 2020


Tutoring & Demonstrating: An introduction (cross-Faculty)

Thur 1 October 2020

Assessment & Academic Misconduct: An introduction (cross-Faculty)

Fri 2 October 2020


Tentative Semester 2 dates:


Tutoring in the Arts: An introduction

Tue 19 January 2021

Assessment & Academic Misconduct (Arts): An introduction

Wed 20 January 2021


Tutoring & Demonstrating in the Sciences: An introduction

Thur 21 January 2021

Assessment and Academic Misconduct (Science): An introduction

Fri 22 January 2021

Support within your School

Your School will provide an induction, a mentor, support with assessment and more, all outlined in the Doctoral Students who Teach policy.

As noted in the policy on Doctoral Students who Teach (PDF, 372 KB), your School must provide you with an induction outlining key contacts, marking scales, deadlines, etc (see the checklist in the policy document) as well as "appropriate training and support throughout their time teaching". In addition to any subject-specific training (eg on use of lab equipment or procedures), all tutors and demonstrators are entitled guidance on marking before assessing student work for the first time.

Note that "every postgraduate teacher must be assigned a mentor to support them in their teaching role"; this is a named person who you can consult if you have any questions about any aspect of your teaching role. You should be observed by an experienced staff member at least once during your first semester of teaching, in order to get constructive feedback on your teaching.

Optional workshops

In addition to the mandatory courses, CEED organises a range of optional workshops that may be of interest.

All of these workshops can be booked via PDMS, the online course booking system (link opens in new browser window).

Student Mental Health Toolkit for Teaching & Research Staff

  • Runs once per semester, open to research postgraduate students and academic/research staff.

  • Practical information for all teaching staff (including PGR teachers) and researchers on how to deal with student situations involving mental ill-health.

Specific learning difficulties: their impact in a higher education setting

  • Runs once in semester two, open to research postgraduate students, academic/research and professional staff.

  • Provides an overview of the different specific learning difficulties (SpLDs), such as dyslexia, dyspraxia and ADHD, and the typical characteristics associated with each condition.

Theories of Learning

  • Runs at least once per semester, open to research postgraduate students and academic/research staff.

  • Provides a brief introduction to various theories of how people learn (eg cognitive science, theshold concepts), with a focus on what this means for our teaching.

PSC Plus Teaching (scroll down for PSC+ Teaching)

  • Runs in semester two, open to all students (UG, PGT, PGR).

  • A suite of short workshops on topics such as "The mechanics of learning" and "Designing a tutorial".

  • Completing the whole suite and an assessment will lead to a PSC+ award, but workshops can be done individually.

Optional taught modules

  • Introduction to University Teaching 1: Supporting Student Learning (ID5101)
  • Introduction to University Teaching 2: Curriculum Design and Assessment (ID5102)

The modules are not available within the advising system; enrolment is by application directly to the module co-ordinator, Dr Heather McKiggan-Fee. Successfully completing either module will give you a strong case for submitting an individual route application for a category of HEA Fellowship.

For more details on applying and the module content visit Optional taught modules

Applying for HEA Fellowship

CAPOD can provide guidance on writing applications and funding to cover the cost of individual route applications.

For further information on funding and applying visit Applying for HEA Fellowship


Dr Heather McKiggan-Fee
Educational Developer

University of St Andrews
Hebdomadar's Block
St Salvator's Quad

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 2141

Other development opportunities

For staff

- IT skills
- Organisational Staff Development Services (OSDS)
- Centre for HE Research
- St Andrews Learning and Teaching Initiative (SALTI)

For students

- IT skills
- GRADskills (PGR)
- MSkills (PGT)
- Professional Skills Curriculum
- Careers Centre

Additional links