Essential courses for postgraduates who teach

Key details: This 7-hour commitment consists of four components to be completed at the start of the semester teaching is to begin. It must be fully completed before engaging in any teaching activities and only needs to be completed once.

Request place


  • External
  • PG research

Programme information

Please read the essentials below carefully

More detailed information and Frequently Asked Questions are further below. Any remaining questions or concerns should be directed to Those needed to teach this semester at the University who do not yet have their internal University email should please see the 'Who should complete' section on 'External users' further below.

Essentials to complete

1.  Request a place on the programme.

When? As soon as you know you want to teach.

  • Registering a place gives your School direct access to your completion status. Updating PDMS records is a manual process our admin team will be working diligently to complete by the time teaching begins. 

  • Once registered, you will begin recieving reminders about upcoming synchronous briefing/workshops to help you plan your schedule as they must be attended live. Reminders will stop once you have completed the programme. Please cancel your place on the programme if you change your mind about planning to teach. 

2. Complete one asynchronous component. 

When? Just prior to attending the synchronous components.

  • Complete this self-study online course by following the instructions under 'all employees' section for Diversity in the workplace.

3. Attend three synchronous components.

When? Just before the start of the semester you are needed to teach.

  • Book dates to attend one live course from each of these areas: Assessment, Student Support, and Teaching. (Find booking links at bottom of this page.)

  • Be sure to note the location you are booking as both in-person and online versions are available. 

IMPORTANT: Synchronous courses must be attended live. Viewing a recording is not considered the equivalent of attending the live courses, will not satisfy the compulsory training requirement, and you will still be required to attend the live course again when it is offered the following semester. Please plan your schedule accordingly.

More information and Frequently Asked Questions


When to complete?

Must be completed before engaging in any teaching activities. Workshops should be taken just before the start of the semester you plan to teach and are offered in August, September, October and January to accommodate different start dates. You only need to complete this programme once during your degree, unless your School specifies otherwise. However, your School is entitled to specify additional training requirements even if you have already completed the programme. 

Why to complete?

The purpose of this training programme 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 processes 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.

Who should complete?

This programme is only open to those teaching at the University of St Andrews. Completing this programme is compulsory for postgraduate research students who teach, but the audience might also include new academic staff, external hourly paid teachers, or research staff who are preparing to teach at the University for the first time. This programme is not intended for undergraduates or postgraduate taught students and they will not be approved to participate unless the School has verified they are needed to teach by emailing to confirm the urgent need.

External users teaching at St Andrews: If you know you are needed to teach this term, but do not yet have your University of St Andrews account, then it is possible to participate with the following considerations and instructions.

  • If you are not expected to teach this term, please wait until you know you will be teaching to take the training.
  • If possible, please wait to sign up for the training until you have your internal University email. While creating an external registration is possible, it adds an additional layer of manual processing and invites room for error that can otherwise be avoided. 
  • If waiting for your internal email is not possible, then you should become a registered external PDMS user. If you already have an existing external PDMS account you can also recover your password. 
  • Once you do have your University email please email so we can manually replace your PDMS (external) user profile rather than creating a second (internal) one. 

How to complete?

There are now four essential components to complete this programme. 

Synchronous: live workshop - Assessment (~2.5 hours, online and in-person options)

Synchronous: live briefing - Student Support (~1 hour, online and in-person options)

Synchronous: live workshop -Teaching (2.5 hours, online and in-person options)

Asynchronous: self-study course - Diversity in the workplace (1 hour, online)

Registering and booking: After registering above for this programme, participants must book dates for individual live briefing/workshops via the programme tab in your PDMS training record.

Asynchronous course: Please complete the asynchronous (self-study) online Diversity course via the link above prior to attending the live sessions. The asynchonous Diversity training is externally hosted - select all employees on the webpage and follow instructions under the relevant heading. 

Synchronous courses: The synchronous (live) courses run every August, September, October and January with individual briefing/workshop dates becoming available on PDMS about a month prior to their occurrence. The Teaching and Assessment workshops include cross-faculty and faculty-specific versions, but you only need to do one version of each workshop since they only vary in terms of the examples used. Likewise, it is also acceptable to choose a session other than your faculty if it is the only one that works with your schedule. The Student Services sessions are not faculty specific.

Tracking and reporting completion: Beginning with the 21-22 academic year, School Administrators and Directors of Teaching were given administrative PDMS access to this compulsory programme to view a participant's progress. Participants can also use your PDMS training record to produce certificates of courses completed, which can be used as proof of completion to a School. Results for the asynchronous (self-study) course will be uploaded to PDMS training records manually by CEED Admin once a month at the end of each month. This will increase to weekly from mid August through the live delivery period and again in January during the live workshops in an effort to keep records up to date. 

The in-person workshops previously delivered by CAPOD (last offered Jan 2020) are equivalent to the current workshops offered by CEED (beginning Aug 2020) - FAQ about CAPOD vs CEED versions. Between August 2020 and July 2023 a fifth asynchronous component was required but is now only optional (see next steps 'Teaching online' immediately below).

Next steps in your development (optional)

  • St Andrews digital learning environment - search PDMS for upcoming offerings
  • Digital Accessibility Basics - asynchronous via Moodle
  • Teaching online: next steps in design and development 
    • You must have a university email to self-enrol on the asynchronous Teaching online. Using the above link, then click the rectangular blue button marked "Enrol". 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.)

Again, these immediately above are not compulsory, but may simply be helpful to your ongoing development. 


Essential steps to complete continued...

Booking links 

Complete the three synchronous courses by booking and attending one course from each area (one Assessment, one Student Support, and one Teaching). If there are no active links available below, then dates for the current semester have already passed and new dates for the next semester have not yet been chosen. In the meantime, please work on the first two essential steps at the top of this page. Further enquiries and last minute bookings (online bookings close the day before an event) should be directed to

(live) Assessment component

3 courses - you have to complete 1 of the following:

(live) Student support component

1 course - you have to complete all of the following instances:

  • Student services: supporting students and teachers

(live) Teaching component

6 courses - you have to complete 1 of the following:

(self-directed) Diversity component

2 courses - you have to complete 1 of the following:

Programme organiser