School of Computer Science

Teaching & Demonstrating

Most research students get involved with teaching in the School. If you are funded by a School scholarship, you will be expected to teach as part of that scholarship. If your funding comes from elsewhere, you can earn some extra money by teaching. It is also excellent experience and a good way to strengthen your CV.

The Demonstrator Tutor, Joshua Knowles, coordinates teaching contributions from research students.


"Demonstrating" means helping out with the School's teaching, by marking, or assisting in examples classes and labs, by holding tutorials, and in other ways - which include preparation time.

The main rules are set out in a University code of practice and the School Staff Handbook. Here is a summary.

  • Teaching Assistants - TAs - are given 4 years' funding for a full maintenance allowance, with 75% registration for studies. For the remaining 25% you are expected to demonstrate for up to 400 hours per year. Since these 400 hours are going to be concentrated mostly in the 22 weeks of the autumn and spring terms, that means that over two days a week in those terms may be spent demonstrating.
  • From your second year as TA, if you show the right aptitudes, you may be promoted to Senior TA. This involves the same 400 hours, but some of that may be tasks with a greater level of responsibility - such as organizing labs and supervising other TAs. You will also receive an extra payment (currently £4000 per year) on top of your studentship.
  • For a non-TA, you can demonstrate up to a maximum of 180 hours per year. This averages out at 6 hours per week over the 30 weeks of term. You will be paid an hourly rate for the work you do.
  • For Small Group Tutorial work, the hours when you are actually teaching a tutor group, the hourly rates are higher.
  • Normally lecturers approach students whose assistance they would like. The Head of Academic Programmes can help coordinate this if you let him or her know what your areas of expertise are.
  • Make sure the Academic Administrator (Melissa Fletcher) knows which lecturers you are assisting - otherwise you might not be paid.
  • The Demonstrator Tutor organizes training, mentoring and observation for demonstrators. It is obligatory for you to take part in these if you demonstrate.
  • If you are doing the Research Skills module, make sure your demonstrating duties don't clash with it.
  • In principle, the Research Students Tutor must authorize all demonstrating allocations to research students. What this means in practice is that the Research Students Tutor can (i) forbid you to demonstrate if your research progress is poor, and (ii) help you to decline demonstrating duties that take up too much of your time.
  • If you have support funding from the School, then as a condition of that funding you are obliged to demonstrate if asked. If you are asked but refuse to do any, the Research Students Tutor may be asked to consider the matter.

Payments - and contract forms

First, you must complete and sign a contract form before you can be paid. Usually you do this at the start of each academic year. You will receive the form from the Academic Administrator (Melissa Fletcher, Room UG47).

There are different contract forms for ordinary demonstrating and for small group tutoring, so if you are doing both you need to sign both forms.

At the start of each semester, you will receive a memo from the Academic Administrator setting out the maximum hours you are expected to demonstrate. There will be one memo for each module for which you are a demonstrator.

To claim payment, you need to complete a claim form (FIN15).

Claim forms are available from reception or from the Academic Administrator (Room UG47). Once completed, please return to Room UG47.

If a contract form is not completed, your claim form will be declined.