Information for UTAs

Why work as a UTA?

The Department of Bioengineering offers the opportunity for BEng and MEng students in their 3rd and 4th academic year 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. 

UTAs 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.

Students in a laboratory

Departmental Requirements

Student and lecturer

If you are interested in becoming a UTA, there are important things to note:

  • Only Year 3 and 4 undergraduate students are permitted 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 week as we are aware most labs do not take place across the entire term.
  • UTAs are not allowed to work more than 4 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 including reading week (Week 7) if required.
  • You can only assist in modules where the cohort is junior to yourself. This means Year 3 UGs can only assist in Year 1 and 2 modules and Year 4 UGs can assist in Year 1, 2 and 3 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 or higher.
  • 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. 

Just like with PhD students, undergraduate students will too be sent a form (between 1 to 1.5 months before the start of term) to be filled in which will be used to capture the module(s) you would like to teach in. Since GTA/UTA allocation is done manually by a member of staff, we cannot guarantee that everyone who applies will be selected.

If, for any reason, you cannot attend your allocated slot, you must inform the module leader and the Student Office as early as possible to allow sufficient time to find a replacement.

Available Opportunities

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. 

Autumn term
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 

Spring term
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 

Summer term
During the summer term, first and second years will have wet labs. 

Key Responsibilities

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 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

Electronics lab

UTA testimonials
"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.”

UTA awards 
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 )