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School of Social and Political Science: Undergraduate study


Guidance for Tutors

Welcome to tutoring in the School of Social and Political Studies.

The School offers semester-length courses in the subject areas of Politics and International Relations, Social Anthropology, Social Policy, Social Work, Sociology and Sustainable Development. These provide the main core of tutorial employment, although tutors also support some honours level courses. 

Tutors are essential to the delivery of high quality teaching in SPS.  We aim to guide students away from passive absorption (or non-absorption) of lecture material, towards a more active self-education. We want to encourage students to read widely and investigatively, to observe their environment carefully and in new ways.  We want to develop their confidence to think and argue for themselves about what they find in books or in the world around them. Moreover, we want students to value and be engaged in the particular subject material they are studying in Social and Political Science.  Tutors play a crucial role in realising these goals.

On this webpage you will find information on:

Guidance and Training Notes

SPS Tutor Induction and Training 

Institute for Academic Development (IAD)

IAD deliver a number of training workshops. Please note that attending these is voluntary, and will not be paid. The two we recommend for tutors are: 

Name of Workshop  Workshop description  Link to more information
Effective Tutoring Introduction                                                                                                                This workshop is for tutors who are new or relatively new to teaching tutorials from across the University of Edinburgh with a focus on open-discussion classes. Click here for more details
Enhancing Tutorials

This course is intended for tutors from across the University of Edinburgh who have already started teaching tutorials.

It contains a stocktaking exercise of your recent teaching experiences; discussion of tricky issues and coping strategies; suggestions for how you can get feedback on your teaching; and a facilitated discussion on using technology tutorials.

This course will focus on your current tutoring experience. If you are not yet teaching tutorials this semester, you should not sign up for this course.

Click here for more details

The Institute for Academic Development also provides support materials and courses for Tutors and Demonstrators, which you are encouraged to take advantage of.

SPS Guidance Documents

Our Tutors' Manual (see below) provides information about courses and their administration, terms and conditions of tutorial employment, and practical tips and guidance on tutorial teaching.  SPS Tutors' Manual.

Please also see our separate sections for 

Edinburgh Students