Swansea University

Guide To The Employment Of Research Students

Guide To The Employment Of Research Students

The University’s first responsibility is to the integrity of the study and quality of the student’s learning experience. Accordingly, Colleges/Schools and students are required to give first consideration to the successful and timely completion of research studies, within the terms of the University’s formal offer of admission.

1. External Employment

The University is unable to control employment undertaken by a student outside the University but the student is advised to consider carefully the effects that such employment may have on the timely completion of their studies. Supervisors should be consulted and, where appropriate, students should be reminded of any conditions set by their sponsor.  In some cases such conditions may require the Supervisors to inform the sponsor if it is felt that employment may impede progress.

2. Study-related Work Placements

The following guidelines do not affect or limit work or placements that may be arranged as a formal component of an approved course or programme of research.

2.1 General Requirements

In all cases of application for University employment during full-time studies by enrolled postgraduate students, it is the responsibility of the College/School, through the written permission of the research Supervisors, to ensure that any paid employment offered by the University is:

  • within the terms laid down by the relevant sponsor and has sponsor’s approval where that is necessary;
  • subject to training, where that is necessary or required (i.e. all teaching and demonstrating);
  • paid according to the rates agreed for the work by Swansea University;
  • not, in the opinion of the Supervisor, likely to impede the successful and timely completion of studies.

2.2 Such written advice is to be supplied to the Human Resources Department, and to receive acknowledgement and approval, before employment may commence.

2.3 The following guidelines should be applied to all full-time postgraduate students, including privately sponsored students and those holding University research studentships.

3. Subject-related Paid Employment

There is broad agreement between UK sponsors in the matter of subject-related paid employment (mainly teaching and demonstrating). This permits employment, with the express permission of the Supervisors, to a normal maximum of 6 hours in the working week (9 to 5, Monday to Friday). Again, in most cases, the annual maximum will be 180 hours per year.

4. Other Paid Employment

A small amount of non-subject-related work is permitted, generally outside normal working hours, but again, only with the express permission of the Supervisors and only when such permission is granted with full acknowledgement of the terms of the sponsoring body. In some cases, this will require the prior approval of the sponsoring body. In the case of privately funded students and holders of University postgraduate research studentships, the maximum shall not normally exceed 6 hours per week.

4.1 However, the Progression and Awards Board may approve an extension to this 6 hour limit on the recommendation of the Supervisors, provided that all such work shall be undertaken outside normal working hours and that the total commitment, inside and outside normal working hours, does not exceed 12 hours in any single week.

5. Industrial Collaboration and Work Experience

Short term work placements in companies, whether paid or unpaid, and other collaborative links which will develop industrial/commercial awareness is to be encouraged but must accord with the terms laid down by the sponsoring body.  Postgraduate students who wish to participate in such training or other paid work directly related to their research studies must seek the permission of their Supervisors.  The Supervisors must give formal consent to indicate that the intended work will not interfere with the student’s research programme and is within the terms laid down by the relevant sponsor.

6. Student Demonstrators and Tutorial Assistants

6.1 Senate Guidelines for Appointment of Postgraduate Student Demonstrators/ Tutorial Assistants

It is recognised that experience in teaching and assessment contributes significantly to the employability of postgraduate students, therefore the use of Postgraduate Student Demonstrators/Tutorial Assistants is encouraged subject to the following Guidelines:

6.1.1 Normally only Enrolled Postgraduate Research Students should be employed as Demonstrators/Tutorial Assistants.

6.1.2 A Postgraduate Student must undertake the necessary training offered through Human Resources/SALT/APECS and the department/College before being allowed to undertake demonstrating, teaching, tutorial or assessment duties. Training must be successfully completed and reported to Human Resources before payment for demonstration or tutorial services may be authorised.

6.1.3 In appointing Demonstrators/Tutorial Assistants, departments must ensure that they have the relevant knowledge, skills and experience to undertake the teaching allocated to them.

6.1.4 A Postgraduate Student may not undertake demonstrating, tutorial or assessment work, inclusive of preparation time, for more than six hours in any one week.

6.1.5 A Demonstrator/Tutorial Assistant shall normally be used only for teaching undergraduates.

6.1.6 Demonstrators/Tutorial Assistants may contribute freely to demonstrating, tutorials and other support teaching, but would not be expected to contribute to more than 25% of the lecturing on any module.

6.1.7 All Demonstrators/Tutorial Assistants will be assigned a Mentor drawn from the Academic Staff, who may be the Module Coordinator of the module(s) on which the Assistant is teaching. The responsibilities of the Mentor will be as follows:

  • To brief the Demonstrator/Tutorial Assistant on all teaching;
  • To provide materials or monitor the quality of any materials provided by the Demonstrator/Tutorial Assistant;
  • To monitor the quality of teaching provision;
  • To provide marking criteria where the Demonstrator/Tutorial Assistant is used for assessment purposes and to employ quality assurance mechanisms to monitor their involvement in assessment, e.g. moderating of marks;
  • To review student feedback provided on the Demonstrator/ Tutorial Assistant as part of a professional development process.

6.1.8 Any exceptions to the above are subject to the approval of the Chair of the Progression and Awards Board.

< Guide to Progress Monitoring | >