Teaching Assistant

The University of Edinburgh is committed to providing an outstanding student experience where possible, offering employment opportunities that provide both income and work experience during a student’s time with us, preparing them for life beyond their studies and equipping them with the expertise and attributes they need to achieve their full potential within the global community

This post is ONLY available for current University of Edinburgh students and is primarily aimed at PhD students in the School of Engineering. This post at grade 6 will assist with courses administered by the Engineering Teaching Organisation.

1. Job Details

Job title: Teaching Assistant

School/Support Department: School of Engineering

Unit: Teaching Organisation

Line manager: Course Organiser

2. Job Purpose

To deliver undergraduate and postgraduate taught learning and teaching activities, within an established programme and with specified learning outcomes, as part of the integrated overall course structure within the School of Engineering. A key purpose of the role is to enhance the learning experience of students and create a stimulating and interactive learning environment in a variety of functions including tutorials, laboratories and marking of student submissions.

3. Main Responsibilities

The following items are representative responsibilities which may be undertaken by post-holders at this level:

To deliver tutorials, within a framework set by the Course Organiser, for groups of students, with specified learning outcomes. Tutorials may take a variety of forms including those appropriate to problem-based learning. Approx 20-40% of time.

To demonstrate use of laboratory equipment, conduct of experiments, exercises and/or processes and to answer questions related to those demonstrations. Where required, to ensure that equipment is accessible, functional and/or material for demonstrations and exercises is prepared before the start of a session. Approx 20-40% of time.

To undertake marking of tutorial, coursework and laboratory submissions, using defined marking criteria and supported by the Course Organiser. Complete any administrative work associated with marking. Where required, to provide formal oral or written feedback to students in relation to assessment in line with University and School procedures. Approx 20-40% of time.

To be aware of any health and safety implications of procedures, and take action to maintain a safe environment, raising any concerns with the Course Organiser. Approx 10% of time.

Advise the Course Organiser any concerns about student performance. . Approx 5% of time.

Discuss with the Course Organiser and carry out the necessary preparation to ensure a full understanding of course materials relating to tutorial, coursework and laboratory report submissions and exercises. Ensure adherence to solutions and corresponding marking schemes provided. Approx 5% of time.

4. Planning and Organising

Post holders must ensure they have an adequate level of preparation in advance of planned sessions and ensure they are familiar with the equipment, tasks, exercises and processes. They should attend any training/briefing sessions as agreed with the Course Organiser. They should also ensure they are aware of the submission and marking deadlines and that they mark and provide sufficient feedback within the set timeframe.

5. Problem Solving

Post holders are expected to resolve problems relating to own teaching activity independently and pass onto the Course Organiser, or other appropriate staff, more complex issues including concerns relating to students health and safety or pastoral issues. Interacting with students they should recognise any personal problems that may have a negative impact on academic functioning and be aware of the student support system to direct students appropriately and/or refer issues to the appropriate member of staff. Pastoral issues must be treated with sensitivity and discretion.

6. Decision Making

Post holders are expected to provide advice and guidance to students and answer their questions, deciding when to refer queries and issues to the Course Organiser or other appropriate member of staff. The post holder should feedback to course organiser any concerns eg students who were struggling, equipment which is not working properly, plagiarism, student performance etc. Post holders who undertake marking are provided with marking guidelines and criteria.

7. Key Contacts/Relationships

Students to whom tutoring, demonstrating and marking
Course Organiser
Other Teaching Assistants
Technical Support Staff
Teaching Support Staff

8. Knowledge, Skills and Experience Needed for the Job

Depending on the nature of the specific role:
• Demonstrate capability to lead and coordinate groups, including the ability to understand the needs of a group and individual students and to provide appropriate guidance.
• Excellent communication skills, including the ability to explain concepts in a clear and understandable manner.
• Sufficient knowledge of the discipline/topics under discussion.
• Understanding of the basic principles of teaching, learning and assessment.

Post holders would normally hold a degree relevant to the teaching area.

9. Dimensions

Has health and safety responsibility for students through supervision and adoption of correct processes/procedures.

10. Job Context and any other relevant information

You will be employed on a student experience contract and will be allocated a specific number of hours per Course/Semester. You will be notified of the hours in due time.

Application Procedure

All applicants should apply online by clicking the apply link at the bottom of this page via our Vacancy Website and submitting an up to date CV. The application process is quick and easy to follow, and you will receive email confirmation of safe receipt of your application. The online system allows you to submit a CV and other attachments.

Eligibility to Work
In accordance with the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 the University of Edinburgh, as an employer, has a legal responsibility to prevent illegal working and therefore must check that all employees are entitled to work in the United Kingdom (UK).

To do so, the University of Edinburgh requires to see original documents evidencing right to work in the UK before commencement of employment.

For further information on eligibility to work please visit our eligibility to work website

In the circumstances where the vacancy does not meet the Home Office and Visa Services advertising, salary and/or qualification level criteria for sponsorship the successful applicant must have the existing right to work in the UK.

Conditions of Employment

Pension Scheme

This role is grade UE06 and therefore the post holder is automatically included in membership of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), subject to the USS membership criteria, unless they indicate that they choose not to join the Scheme.

For further information please visit our pensions website.


The role is guaranteed hours. It is grade UE06 and attracts an hourly rate of £14.54 plus annual leave allowance. Salary is paid monthly by direct transfer to your Bank or Building Society account, normally on the 28th of the month. Salaries for part-time staff are calculated on the full-time scales, pro-rata to the Standard Working Week

The University reserves the right to vary the candidate information or make no appointment at all. Neither in part, nor in whole does this information form part of any contract between the University and any individual.

UoE Vacancy Ref: 


Closing Date: 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Contact Name: 

Sharon Mulvey

Contact Email: 

Contact Telephone: 

+44 (0) 131 65