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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.

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 mandatory courses 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.

You only need to complete the mandatory courses once during your degree, unless your School specifies otherwise. So the in-person workshops previously delivered by CAPOD are equivalent to the three new online workshops offered by CEED. However, your School is entitled to specify additional training requirements, eg even if you have done the in-person workshops previously, that this must be supplemented with the Teaching Online Moodle course this academic year.

Note: When completing job applications, these workshops do not count towards "Successfully completed an institutional provision in teaching in the higher education sector accredited against the UK Professional Standards Framework", as they are not accredited against the UKPSF. However, it is possible to apply directly to Advance HE for an appropriate category of Fellowship based on the Descriptors of the UKPSF.  Usually that would be other option in the same section of the application form, along the lines of “Recognised by Advance HE as an Associate/Fellow/Senior Fellow”.  See Applying for HEA/Advance HE Fellowship for more information on the support available.

In light of physical distancing requirements due to Covid-19, the delivery of the mandatory courses has been adjusted to a mix of online asynchronous (self-study) and synchronous (live) provision. Before being allowed to teach at St Andrews, postgraduate teachers must now complete:

  1. The Moodle course Teaching Online: Next Steps in Design and Development - asynchronous (2 to 3 hours)

  2. Online course: Diversity in the Workplace - asynchronous (1 hour)

  3. Live workshop on Teaching at St Andrews: an introduction - synchronous (1.5 hours)

  4. Live workshop on Assessment and academic misconduct: an introduction - synchronous (1.5 hours)

  5. Live workshop on Student Services: supporting students and teachers - synchronous (1 hour)

The Teaching Online Moodle course is self-enrol - click the rectangular blue button marked "Enrol", and you will automatically be entered into the Moodle course. (If you are not logged into Moodle you will be asked to login before you see the "Enrol" button.) The Diversity course is externally hosted - the webpage gives instructions on how to enrol.

There are cross-faculty and faculty-specific versions of Teaching and Assessment workshops at different times before the start of each semester; request a place on a particular workshop using the links below. You only need to do one version of each workshop. They vary only in terms of the examples used, so if you cannot attend the session for your faculty, please sign up for another one.  The Student Services sessions are for all students regardless of faculty. The following links will all open in new browser windows.

Semester 1 live workshop dates (British standard times):

  • Teaching at St Andrews: an introduction (cross-faculty) 

    Thurs 27 August, 13.00-14.30
  • Teaching at St Andrews: an introduction (Arts) 

    Tues 8 September, 15.30-17.00
  • Teaching at St Andrews: an introduction (Science) 

    Thurs 10 September, 13.00-14.30
  • Teaching at St Andrews: an introduction (cross-faculty) 

    Thurs 01 October, 14.00-15.30


  • Assessment and academic misconduct: an introduction (cross-faculty) 

    Thurs 27 August, 15.00-16.30
  •  Assessment and academic misconduct: an introduction (Arts) Wed 09 September, 14.00-15.30
  • Assessment and academic misconduct: an introduction (Science) 

    Fri 11 September, 14.00-15.30
  • Assessment and academic misconduct: an introduction (cross-faculty) 

    Fri 02 October, 14.00-15.30


  • Student Services: supporting students and teachers Tues 08 September, 14.00-15.00
  • Student Services: supporting students and teachers Thurs 10 September, 16.00-17.00
  • Student Services: supporting students and teachers Thursday 1 October 2020, 16.00 to 17.00


Semester 2 live workshop dates and links to register (British standard times):



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

CEED 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