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Graduate Teaching Assistants

Graduate Teaching Assistants

Graduate Teaching Assistants

Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) are valued members of the SSPP Faculty community. The GTA scheme was designed to enable research students to contribute to teaching and assessment activities, gaining essential experience while undertaking their doctoral studies.

The Department of War Studies invites GTA applications for Year 1 & Year 2 modules in:

  • BA War Studies
  • BA International Relations
Application Procedure

Eligibility:

To be eligible to apply you must: 

  • be a PhD Student (at a UK University)*
  • have successfully passed your mini-viva**
  • have completed at least one year of full-time PhD study or two years of part-time PhD study by the time you start your GTA duties

*Near completion PhD students are welcome to apply. Contact Laura Sheppard (laura.sheppard@kcl.ac.uk) for enquiries about the number of GTA hours available for near completion PhD students.

**If you have not passed your mini-viva you may still be offered a GTA position. In such case you will need to provide a confidential letter of recommendation from your PhD Supervisor, in which he/she describes your writing abilities, your English-language standard, and the progress that you are making towards your PhD upgrade.

How to Apply

To apply, you must:

  1. Fill in the online GTA Application Form

The online application will open on Wednesday 29 May 2019 and will close on Wednesday 12 June 2019. For more information about how to apply, available modules, pay and timescales please navigate the tabs to the right.

Your Letter of Recommendation

If you have not taught in the Department of War Studies previously you must provide a confidential Academic-Reference GTA letter of recommendation from:

  • your PhD Supervisor (if you have not been a GTA before)
  • OR from your module convenor (if you have been a GTA external to the department)
Your CV

Your CV must provide the following details:

  • your areas of expertise
  • the title of your PhD the name of your PhD supervisor
  • the starting date of your PhD
  • the expected date of completion
  • any teaching experience and training courses in the field of teaching that you may have attended*

*All PhD candidates are invited to submit an application regardless of whether or not they have taught before. Training courses for teachers are offered at King’s College London (see the ‘Preparing to Teach’ course). You are strongly encouraged to attend them in preparation for your application.

Your Personal Statement

Your personal statement must:

  • explain your reasons for applying
  • your academic strengths
  • your teaching experience (if any) and training courses in the field of teaching
  • why you think you are a well suited candidate for this position

If you have any questions regarding your eligibility or the application procedure, please contact Laura Sheppard (laura.sheppard@kcl.ac.uk)

 

Contracts, Pay & Recruitment Timescale

If you are successful you will be issued with a contract over the summer prior to the September of the year in which you commence teaching. This will cover all the duties you are required to undertake throughout your employment (including seminar teaching, preparation time, marking etc).

You will need to provide evidence of your eligibility to work in the UK. All payments will be taxed at the appropriate rate. GTAs will normally be eligible for the college pension scheme, and you will receive payments in lieu of annual leave.

More specific information on remuneration and governance is available on the intranet.

 

GTA Pay

If you are successful you will be issued with a contract over the summer prior to the September of the year in which you commence teaching. This will cover all the duties you are required to undertake throughout your employment (including seminar teaching, preparation time, marking etc).

You will need to provide evidence of your eligibility to work in the UK. All payments will be taxed at the appropriate rate. GTAs will normally be eligible for the college pension scheme, and you will receive payments in lieu of annual leave.

More specific information on remuneration and governance is available on the intranet.

GTA Pay

GTA pay is based on an estimate of overall hours. Your workload can vary between modules, individual module assessment and depending on your personal work style.

GTAs are paid appropriate to the level of responsibility as defined in the National Pay Framework, and should get the same rate of pay for the same level of work. Thus it is a point of principle that as far as possible parity is ensured in terms of the volume of work GTAs undertake for an hour's pay. GTAs should not receive increments if they teach for more than one year, since career progression is not the purpose of the GTA scheme.

Under current legislation all casual workers are entitled to holiday pay (set at the hourly rate), calculated on the total number of hours worked.

NOTE: GTAs are not paid for any professional development opportunities afforded them by the College (including meetings following peer observation), Faculty or their department. It should also be noted that the College does not reimburse travel to work expense, or between sites.

GTA Pay

GTA Activity

Avg Hours for a Seminar Group (30 Credit Module) 

SSPP 

Hourly Teaching Rate

 20

£17.47p/h

Student Contact Time

 20 x 2

 £17.47p/h

Preparation Time (including lecture attendance)

 20 x 2

 £17.47p/h

Marking (including feedback)

Varies - typically one hours work = marking two 3-hour exam scripts or one 3,000 word essay

 £17.47p/h

Attendance - GTA Induction, Assessment Workshop

 

 £17.47p/h

GTA Peer Observation

 

 £17.47p/h

Attending KLI's 'Preparing to teach in Higher Education' Course

Attracts no payment as is considered a mandatory development opportunity.

N/A

 Please Note: The above hourly rate is for AY 18/19. This will be updated for AY 19/20 in due course.


 

Recruitment Timescale

GTA Recruitment Calendar

 Dates

 Details

Online application opens

Thursday 8 August 2019

Be ready to submit the online application form, CV, personal statement and reference

Online Applications close

Wednesday 28 August 2019

 

Invitation to interview

By Friday 6 September 2019

 

Interviews

Date TBC

10 minutes per applicant

Interview Results

1 week after interview

Confirmation relates to suitability of being a GTA; and will not include allocated modules at this stage

Allocation

September

All confirmed GTAs will be emailed about modules they have been allocated to.

Contracts (from HR)

Early to mid Sept

Liaise with HR to submit proof of UK work eligibility

GTA Induction

Tuesday 17 September 2019

Compulsory, even if you attended an induction in previous years

Continuous Training

5 Training Dates (exact dates to be confirmed)

2 Sessions (3 hours) each in Term 1- dates to be confirmed during induction

2/3 Sessions (3 hours each) in Term 2 – dates to be confirmed during induction

How many hours can a GTA work?

The scheme must adhere to the guidelines laid out in the Core Code of practice for Postgraduate Research Degrees, in particular Section 8 ‘Working during a research degree’ which oulines: 

“The student’s responsibilities must be clearly defined in writing, be compatible with their research responsibilities, supported by their supervisor(s), and never exceed a maximum of six hours in total per term week. All students must be provided with appropriate training before commencing any teaching, and must be fairly paid for this work.”

AHRC funded students are bound by the following regulations: the total demand on their time, including contact time and a reasonable allowance for preparation and marking, does not exceed 180 hours in any one year and the total demand on their time does not exceed six hours in any week.
 
ESRC funded-students are allowed teaching opportunities provided they spend a minimum of 1800 hours each academic year on their doctoral research and research training. Please note that the figure of 1800 is based on recommendations about the difference between full and part-time. It equates to a 37.5 hour week for 48 weeks. The ESRC allows for 8 weeks holiday per year and when this is taken into account, reduces the 1800 hours figure to 1,650.
 
Tier 4 visa students are eligible to work up to 20 hours per week during term time and full-time during vacation periods, provided this is stipulated in their visa.

 

What is expected of GTA's

The exact responsibilities for GTAs will vary depending on which department and module you are working with. As some general guidance, GTAs may be expected to: 

  • lead seminars and in some cases, lectures
  • be involved in marking students work
  • be prepared for each session by acquainting themselves with the core reading and ensuring that they have the ability to contextualize the material within the broader context of the module
  • answer student emails
  • be available to students during one designated office hour per week
  • monitor student attendance and liaise with personal tutors over any concerns
  • complete short report forms on students, depending on each department's practice. 


Module List and Outlines

Click on the module name to see the module outline.

 

Module Code

Module Name

 

 

Open to Students on

Type 

 Credits

4SSW1001

CAUSES OF WAR

 

 

WAR STUDIES

 FULL YEAR

30

4SSW1003

THE EXPERIENCE OF WAR

 

 

WAR STUDIES

FULL YEAR

30

4SSE1004

CONTEMPORARY SECURITY ISSUES

 

 

WAR STUDIES

FULL YEAR

30

4SSW1005

CONDUCT OF WAR

 

 

WAR STUDIES 

HALF YEAR

 15

4SSW1006

IR THEORY

 

 

WAR STUDIES

FULL YEAR

 30

4SSW1007

HISTORY OF THE INTERNATIONAL SYSTEM

 

 

WAR STUDIES

FULL YEAR

 30

4SSW1008

CONFLICT & DIPLOMACY

 

 

WAR STUDIES

HALF YEAR

15

4SSW2019

ART OF WAR STUDIES

 

 

WAR STUDIES

HALF TERM

15

5SSW2004

GRAND STRATEGY

 

 

WAR STUDIES

FULL YEAR

30

5SSW2014

EMPIRES, IMPERIALISM & THE HISTORY OF THE MODERN WORLD

 

 

WAR STUDIES

FULL YEAR

30

5SSW2049

WAR IN INTERNATIONAL ORDER

 

 

WAR STUDIES

FULL YEAR

30

5SSW2050

INTELLIGENCE IN WAR STUDIES

 

 

WAR STUDIES

FULL YEAR

30

 

5SSW2054

WAR AND GLOBAL CONFLICT

 

 

WAR STUDIES

FULL YEAR

30

5SSW2056

MILITARY STRATEGY

 

 

WAR STUDIES

FULL YEAR

30

5SSW2060

GLOBAL POLITICS

 

 

WAR STUDIES

FULL YEAR

30

5SSW2062

STATECRAFT, WAR, AND DIPLOMACY

 

 

WAR STUDIES

FULL YEAR

30

5SSW2063

INTERNATIONAL LAW, HUMAN RIGHTS AND INTERVENTIONS

 

 

WAR STUDIES

FULL YEAR

30

5SSW2064

CONTEMPORARY ISSUES IN INTERNATIONAL HISTORY

 

 

WAR STUDIES

FULL YEAR

30

Guidance for Teachers

 

The roles and responsibilities of GTAs will vary across departments. Your are expected to attend a local induction organised by your department or module convenor where these will be explained in more detail.

The students will attend, typically, 20 lectures and 20 seminars for each module over the course of twenty weeks (for a 30-credit module over two terms). The permanent academic staff will provide the lectures and GTAs will provide the corresponding tutorials.

GTAs must attend the modules’ lectures, if they are teaching the module for the first time: this will be an important element in preparation for teaching the tutorial, and it is compulsory.

Some of the students in the class will be ‘Study Abroad’ students who are visiting the College for one semester; or perhaps the full academic year. So the group could change slightly in January each year, as the first semester students will have left and the second semester students arrive. If they are here for one semester only they are assessed by means of coursework essays (please note that Spring SA students may be required to sit an exam; please check the module outline with the team at ug-warstudies@kcl.ac.uk if in doubt).

Please also note that the assessment patterns are pre-determined by the relevant College committees and cannot be changed. If you would like any clarification of the status of any of your students, and their method of assessment, then please contact ug-warstudies@kcl.ac.uk . The Study Abroad tutor is Dr Ofer Fridman (ofer.fridman@kcl.ac.uk): he acts as personal tutor for all Study Abroad students.

Below are some links to common areas of teaching that you will need to familiarise yourself with:

Preparing to teach a class

The teaching context at King's is governed by its Regulations for Taught Programmes, which includes a breakdown of the credit framework and information on assessment.

KEATS

The Faculty uses KEATS as a Virtual Learning Environment for its students, providing reading lists and other module materials. The submission of assessments is also managed through KEATS.

If you would like to receive training on KEATS please contact laura.sheppard@kcl.ac.uk from the Faculty Education Team. 

Your first class and getting to know your students

 The following are some hints and tips that you might want to use in your first teaching session:

  • Introduce yourself;
  • Make a note of the names of the students, which degree programme they are taking, and their reasons for taking the module.  Encourage your students to get to know each other
  • Provide an overview of the course; how classes will work, how the students will work with course content and the kinds of skills they may develop; 
  • Work with the class to agree 'ground rules' and ways you will work together (e.g. discuss expectations around weekly workload/reading, punctuality, meeting assessment deadlines, student contribution to discussions, etc);  
  • Prepare the group up for the coming week (readings, roles, their next lecture, etc);
  • Provide your students with an overview of KEATS and the context within which they will use it as part of the module.

How to deal with common scenarios

 The following points are hints and tips for dealing with common scenarios when teaching:

  • The whole group is silent and unresponsive. Ask students to work in pairs to get people talking and energised;
  • Individuals are silent and unresponsive. Use open, exploratory questions;
  • Sub-groups start forming with private conversations. Break them up with sub-group tasks. 'What is going on?'...';
  • The group becomes too deferential towards the teacher. Stay silent, throw questions back, open questions to the whole group;
  • Discussion goes off the point and becomes irrelevant. Set clear themes or an agenda. Keep a visual summary of the topics discussed for everyone to see;
  • A distraction occurs (such as two students arriving late). Establish group ground rules about behaviour such as late arrivals;
  • Students have not done the preparation. Clarify preparation requirements, making them realistic. Share what preparation has been undertaken at the start of each session;
  • Members do not listen to each other. Point out what is happening. Establish ground rules about behaviour;
  • Students do not answer when you ask a question. Use open questions, leave plenty of time. Ask students to work on a problem or a passage of text in pairs or small groups. Consider nominating someone from the group (perhaps someone who usually avoids speaking) who will speak on behalf of that group. You could also ask the group to choose a spokesperson;
  • Two students are very dominant. Use hand signals, gestures and body language. Support and bring in others. Give the dominant students roles to keep them busy (such as note-taker);
  • Students complain about the seminar and the way you are handling it. Ask for constructive suggestions. Ask students who are being negative to turn their comments into positive suggestions;
  • Discussion focuses on one corner of the group and the rest stop joining in. Use structures. Point out to the group what is happening. Look at the room layout, how the students are positioned and where you sit.

Further information can be found in the staff handbook.

Training & Mentoring

It is compulsory for all GTAs in SSPP departments to attend the following induction and training sessions:

Training

The Preparing to Teach Course run by the King's Learning Institute covering:

  1. Small and large group teaching
  2. Teaching your first session
  3. Using technology in your teaching

The Faculty Induction covering:

  1. How students learn
  2. GTA career development
  3. Faculty marking and feedback policies
  4. Lecture capture
  5. Module and teaching evaluation
  6. Staff/Student relationship
  7. Student support and signposting

Department of module induction covering:

  1. Department practice in marking feedback
  2. Mentoring and support mechanisms
  3. Office hours
  4. The use of KEATS

College and Faculty inductions will be bookable via SkillsForge. 

There is additional training open to all GTAs throughout the academic year, which is bookable via SkillsForge. This is voluntary and is not paid but may aid your personal development. Topics covered include:

  • time management
  • use of technology
  • unconscious bias
  • use of Microsoft Office

Mentoring

You will be assigned a mentor throughout your time spent teaching in the department. This will normally be the lead academic on the module on which you are teaching. Your mentor will peer observe your teaching at specific times during the module. This will take place at different times depending on the department in which you based.

For any issues concerning study abroad (e.g. student requests for references to study abroad), please check with your mentor or convenor of the GTA scheme who will be able to assist you. If any situation arises which you are unsure of how to handle and you need advice and guidance, please consult your mentor.

If you have any concerns about training/mentoring issues, either before the start of the teaching year or during it, please contact the chair of the Department Education Committee or Head of Department.

Marking

Marking

Please give students written feedback on their work, as well as a numerical mark. Please return coursework in timely fashion, and ideally within two weeks of submission. This is important.

Study Abroad students here for one semester only will have a different assessment pattern. Find out the details with your Module Convenor.

You should receive training and advice on how to mark essays during your “Preparing to Teach” Course. If you require further advice about grading and/or feedback, you can also ask your Module Convenor

Details of the generic marking criteria are available on the Policy Zone

Feedback & Reports

You must be available to give one-to-one feedback with the students about their essays.

All undergraduate students will complete evaluation questionnaires about the modules they have studied and the individual tutors. These results will be available to you in June each year.

Please keep a record of student attendance at all seminars (registers can be downloaded from the online timetable). This is especially important for any students on a student visa.

Communication

You should create your own distribution lists for student emails, or you may use the facility on KEATS to send messages but please be aware they will go to everyone registered on that module, not just your students. Student email addresses can be found on the web here

GTAs should familiarise themselves with the Faculty's various policies relating to marking assessments:

  • How to give feedback on KEATS
  • Marking anonymity - this will vary between departments so you should clarify practices with the module convenor or professional services staff
  • Students with disabilities - if a student has declared a disability it is likely that the College will have agreed some reasonable adjustments through the Disability Service. If a King's Inclusion Plan has been produced you will be informed of this by departmental professional services staff or the module convenor. You may also find that students approach you individually to make you aware of any reasonable adjustments, such as the recording of lectures. If you have any questions about reasonable adjustments contact the module convenor or departmental professional services staff.

Student Progess, Welfare & Attendance

If you have any significant concerns about a student’s academic progress, please inform their personal tutor (and the Department Office). All students MUST provide you with written explanations for any absences. If a student is absent from class on two consecutive occasions, please inform the Department Office ug-warstudies@kcl.ac.uk

If you are concerned about a student’s welfare or wellbeing, please inform their personal tutor, and also the BA Senior Tutor Prof Brian Holden-Reid (Term 1) and Dr DomitillaSagramoso (from term 2) (if you judge the problem to be serious).

Please DO ask your module convenor for advice about running tutorials: they will be happy to help.

Please note that students can give undue weight to any off-the-cuff remarks. GTAs are part of the staff and teaching team and as such share in the collective responsibility of delivery of the module.

Feedback

The Faculty recognises the importance of providing feedback to students in order to help them progress in their academic studies.

The Student Handbook sets out the Faculty's policy on feedback on assessment; namely that it should be returned within four weeks and that it should be of a quality and quantity that will help students enhance  their academic performance on future assessments.

Please discuss feedback on assessment requirements with the module convenor or departmental professional services staff

Useful Contacts

Sources of Advice

Your principle source of information and advice will be your module convenor. Otherwise, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact any of the following:



 

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