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Tutors and Demonstrators

UCD Development Opportunities

As with good teaching, being a good demonstrator or tutor is more than possessing expert disciplinary knowledge. Due to the vast array of subject-specific requirements there is no single pre-defined role and many demonstrators/tutors might themselves also be graduate students.  In order to provide the highest quality support to undergraduate students; demonstrators and tutors are encouraged to avail of professional training opportunities relevant to their role and context.  If you are a post-doctoral or research fellow go to the post-doctoral and research fellows page to find out about the dedicated seminar series provided for you.  This page provides information on the training and development opportunities provided by UCD for tutors and demonstrators, such as our in-person Tutor Induction Workshops and online Tutor Induction Pack.

In general, tutorials and practical sessions provide undergraduate students with the opportunity to explore and apply the concepts, skills, and competencies introduced in class, in a manner that is not usually possible in larger classroom environments.

Tutor Induction

Tutor Induction Workshops take place in September and January each year.  They are two hours in duration and for those who have been engaged to tutor in that semester. See Teaching and Learning Events‌ for dates and times.  

The session is designed to be interactive and reflect the approaches and methods one may use in a real tutorial or small group teaching session.

Event Objectives: On completion of this induction attendees should be able to:

  • Identify key communication techniques
  • Design an effective session for teaching undergraduates
  • Critically reflect on the role of the tutor / facilitator in small group teaching
  • Prepare a tutorial plan

UCD Instructor: David Jennings 

Online Resources

  • Tutors are also advised to read the Tutor Induction Pack an essential guide for any new tutor.  The pack contains a wealth of information and practical tips.
  • Introductory information on issues relevant to small group teaching and student engagement can be found in the Teaching Toolkit
  • Brightspace Explore Module
    Within Brightspace there is a Tutor Induction Explore resource to support the Induction Workshop, wherein you will find a video of the induction session. To navigate to the explore module, log into Brightspace

    • Seek out the Explore Modules (it is a header on the blue navigation bar marked 'Explore')
    • Search and find the 'Tutor Induction', Enroll
    • Therein under Learning Materials, Additional Resources you'll find the video (and workbook).



UCD Teaching and Learning offers a five ECTS blended learning module (NFQ level 9) entitled "Introduction to University Teaching and Learning for Tutors, Demonstrators and Teaching Assistants". The aim of this module is to enable those who are currently responsible for supporting teaching at UCD to reflect, review and enhance their teaching, learning and assessment practices.  For more information consult the UTL for Tutors, Demonstrators and TAs Module Handbook.

To register for this module, which will run in the 2024/25 Spring trimester, students must be on a graduate programme in UCD. This module is designed to be taken as an option module on a graduate programme. Students must contact their school/programme office regarding registration, and may have to seek consent from their graduate programme supervisor.

If you require further detail please contact the module co-ordinator David Jennings, david.jennings@ucd.ie (01) 716 8552

*Please be advised that this module is dependent on a minimum number of individuals registering.


Roles and Expectations

Module coordinators may like to review this short guide Supporting Tutors: A Guide For Module Coordinators which offers specific guidance for the support of tutors and highlights some of the relevant resources and materials for small group teaching.


Roles and expectations should be negotiated with module coordinators responsible for tutorials/demonstrating. Lecturers should ensure the coherent design of the sequence of the tutorials/or experiments with the lectures and give the tutor/demonstrator access to the module on Brightspace via the Module Access Management System.
Tutors and demonstrators should avail of training and support networks as well as procedural, subject and school-specific information. Lecturers should explain to the tutor/demonstrator how their teaching fits in with the broader student learning experience.

Graduate Teaching Assistants

UCD runs a series of school-based accredited modules for graduate teaching assistants which were developed with the support of UCD Teaching and Learning.  Students should contact their programme office to express interest and or inquire about offerings.  These modules tend to be five ECTS and are bespoke with discipline-specific content.   

Schools interested in providing graduate teaching assistant modules should get in touch with UCD Teaching & Learning who will work with them to develop bespoke modules.