Undergraduate teaching assistants
Information for UTAs
Why work as a UTA?
The Department of Bioengineering offers the opportunity for students in their third and fourth years (BEng and MEng) to assist in the delivery of teaching for our undergraduate programmes as an Undergraduate Teaching Assistant (UTA). Working as a UTA provides students with the opportunity to broaden their experience in the Department and develop skills which are vital to both employers and further study: basic teaching skills; the ability to convey complex information; task management; working in a team and communication.
UTA’s are always supervised in the classroom or lab by a member of academic staff, a lab leader or a Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA). Students can expect to be involved in delivering defined teaching material to undergraduate students in the year below them. This could take place in a variety of teaching environments such as lab demonstrations, lectures or computer sessions.
If you are interested in becoming a UTA, there are some important things to note:
- Only third and fourth years are allowed to undertake work as a UTA.
- Your work as a UTA must not interfere with your studies. If you feel overwhelmed with your workload and UTA hours, then please contact the Student Office straight away.
- You are only allowed to assist with one module per term.
- UTA’s are not allowed to work more than four hours per week. There may be some flexibility with the number of hours per week in the summer term wet labs because of their duration and condensed timeframe, however, this will need to be discussed with the Academic Tutor: Martin Holloway. You will need to confirm that your project work will not be disrupted.
- Once your allocation for a specific module has been confirmed, you should be available to work for each session throughout the term. This includes reading week.
- You can only assist on modules where the cohort is junior to yourself. Therefore, only fourth years can assist with year three modules.
- You should have taken the module you are interested in assisting with and achieved a solid 2:1 or higher. Likewise, your overall year mark for the year of that module should be a 2:1. For example, if you are in fourth year and interested in being a UTA for BE2-HPROG2 Programming II, then you should have achieved a 2:1 for the module and a 2:1 or higher for your overall second year result.
- You should be aware that on some occasions, you may be asked to attend an initial interview with the module leader or the Director of Courses: Professor Martyn Boutelle.
When you apply, we will ask you to provide both your first and second choice module that you would like to assist with. Please note that we cannot guarantee that everyone who applies will be selected. Each student is considered on a case by case basis. We do try our best to assign successful students to their first choice, but this is not always possible.
If, for any reason, you cannot attend your allocated slot, you must inform the module leader and Student Office ASAP and preferably with plenty of notice so that we can find a suitable replacement.
Please see below for a list of modules available in the autumn, spring and summer terms respectively. You should note that this is subject to change each academic year.
BE1-HEMVW Electromagnetics, Vibrations and Waves - labs
BE1-HMATH1 Mathematics I - labs
BE1-HMS1 Medical Science I - labs
BE2-HSCL Signals and Control - Signals labs
BE2-HPROG2 Programming II - labs
BE3-HFBME Fundamentals of Biomedical Engineering - labs
BE3-HMIB Modelling in Biology - labs
BE1-HDLP Digital Logic and Programming - students can assist with either Digital Logic labs or Programming I labs respectively
BE1-HEE1 Electrical Engineering - labs
BE1-HWLS Wet Lab Skills - labs (Usually run for two weeks in March)
BE2-HSCL Signals and Control - Control labs
BE2-HMATH2 Mathematics II - computer session
BE2-HSDM Mechanics II Solids - labs
BE3-HIPR Image Processing - labs
BE3-HBINST Biomedical Instrumentation - labs
During the summer term, first and second years will have wet labs.
You will be expected to attend briefings and follow guidance from the module leader in preparation for the teaching sessions. This might also include proactively initiating contact yourself. Once your allocation has been confirmed, you will be automatically enrolled on the relevant module area on Blackboard. You are expected to adequately familiarise yourself with the teaching resources available and ensure you are equipped to contextualise and summarise the module material.
You will always be supported and guided during these sessions, either by a member of academic staff, a lab leader or a Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA).
UTA testimonials and awards
"She gave me some really helpful tips on thinking about how to design a circuit. She genuinely seemed to enjoy helping us.”
“He is open to students’ suggestions and listens to their ideas. He will then build upon those ideas and try to improve on them or help the student work out the answer themselves rather than enforcing his own opinion.”
Every year after the end of Spring term, students vote for their UTA of the year.
- Departmental UTA of the year 2018 was Federico Sanna (Y3 MEng )