Training in Teaching

To have had some teaching experience is likely to benefit your career, especially if you intend to continue in academia, where academic jobs increasingly expect some teaching experience, but also more generally as it should help you to develop your communication skills.  

All research students are asked to undertake teaching within the department. More specifically students who started between October 2018 and September 2020 are required to teach at least one set of classess before transfer for of status and at least one further set before confirmation of status. Students who started from October 2020 are required to teach at least one set of classes before transfer of status and at least two further sets before confirmation of status. This will usually take the form of acting as a Teaching Assistant for a particular undergraduate course.

Training Scheme

The Mathematical Institute has developed a programme to provide graduate students who teach with induction, opportunities for mentored teaching, support, and further training sessions. The training scheme has been set up to introduce graduates, irrespective of their teaching background, to the format of teaching Maths at Oxford. 

At the start of Michaelmas Term, the department runs a compulsory, initial training session in class teaching.  It then provides opportunities for graduates to act as teaching assistants (TAs) for the third and fourth year undergraduate classes. As a TA you will be working as a sort of apprentice to the class tutor, who will mentor you and report briefly at the end of the term on your progress.  Reports are reviewed by the Faculty Teaching Advisor (Dr Vicky Neale) and the Director of Undergraduate Studies (Dr Richard Earl). 

Attendance at the initial training session together with two satisfactory reports on class teaching, across two terms, leads to a pass at Stage 1 of the department's training scheme. Those who pass Stage 1 will be considered as fully trained TAs; eligible to act as class tutors in the intercollegiate class scheme (subject to demand, as priority is given to departmental members with teaching contracts). Stage 1 constitutes Preparation for Learning and Teaching (PLTO) in the University's terminology. 

Further optional training is offered in the form of a workshop on tutorial teaching. This is recommended to those who have successfully completed the first stage of training and are interested in acting as a tutor in a college.  Students who have completed Stage 1 and wish to act as a class tutor for the intercollegiate class scheme will need to attend an Induction Session for New Class Tutors.  There is a session at the start of both Michaelmas and Hilary terms. 

You can continue to develop your teaching further by taking part in a university programme, leading to an accredited qualification. A DPhil student who has completed Stage 1 (PLTO), or an early career researcher involved in teaching intercollegiate classes, would be well placed to apply for the Advancing Teaching and Learning programme. This will give you opportunities to reflect on your teaching practice and to develop it further, and successful completion leads to a qualification that is widely recognised. If you have more teaching experience, then you could consider the Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, which again leads to an accredited qualification. If you would like to discuss any of these possibilities, you can contact the Centre for Teaching and Learning directly, or feel free to contact the Maths Faculty Teaching Advisor, Vicky Neale.

Graduates and early career researchers who wish to teach in undergraduate classes should contact acadadmin@maths.ox.ac.uk. Further information can be found on the Class Scheme webpage. 

Training Sessions 2021-22

Information about future training sessions (usually at the start of terms) will be circulated via email and in the department bulletin.

Please contact acadadmin@maths.ox.ac.uk with any queries about these sessions.