Class Teaching Information

Why class teaching?

Since many of you will become academics, class teaching represents useful professional training. Even for students not expecting to pursue an academic career, the experience of giving public presentations will stand you in good stead. This teaching can be a valuable and important experience, and can play a role in enhancing your CV. Of course, no one should take on too much teaching so that it compromises his or her own course work and research. However, most students find the experience to be very helpful in their development as economists.

Duties and responsibilities of a Graduate Teaching Assistant

Allowing for some minor variations between courses, the main duties of a Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) are to support the weekly lectures by running small class groups of around 15 students using the problem sets provided. The lecturer in charge of the course sets much of the content to be covered in the classes. Classes run for fifty minutes, starting at five minutes past the hour and finishing at five minutes to the hour. You should be punctual for your teaching commitments, and should only exceptionally take on commitments which would lead to a class being missed. If cancellation of a teaching commitment is unavoidable you should inform the Timetables Office and the Department's GTA Co-ordinator , as soon as possible and promptly arrange an additional meeting to make up the loss.

In addition to the classes you will also be expected to spend some time each week reading course related materials in preparation for each class. Course Materials will be provided by the Course Lecturer and are also available on the Department's website. Over time you will become more familiar with the course materials, so the preparation time needed will be less.

You will arrange a weekly office hour (two if you teach four or more class hours per week) at a time convenient to both you and your students. You will provide academic support, discussing course material and answering questions arising from the lectures and classes. Room 32L.1.30 on the 1st floor of the 32 Lincoln's Inn Fields Building can be used to meet with your students.  To maximise accessibility, office hours and other open-door times should start and finish on the half-hour.

Depending on the course, you may be expected to attend some or all of the weekly lectures. There may also be weekly, fortnightly or less regular meetings with the course lecturer which you should attend.

You will set and mark at least four pieces of course work over the year, although this number may vary between some courses. Course Lecturers will advise on the standards to which course work must be marked and will discuss the marking criteria, where applicable. Course work should normally be collected, marked and returned with written comments, within two weeks.

You should record student class attendance on a weekly basis using the Online Class Register  system available via LSE for You. You should also use the system to record marks for course work, failure to submit course work and instances of regular, unexplained absenteeism. At the end of the Michaelmas and Lent terms, you will also be required to provide an end of term report  on each student. The report should include a grade for class work and class participation during the term.

In the Summer Term, in the period from early May to the middle of June, you will be expected to undertake examination related duties such as script marking. You should not make any travel plans during this period. Before you accept any offer of teaching you should bear in mind that you will be expected to mark scripts even if you are sitting your own examinations during the same period. It is not sufficient reason to opt out of marking because you have your own exams.

The obligations and responsibilities of Graduate Teaching Assistants (and also lecturers and students) are laid out more fully in the Code of Good Practice for Undergraduate Programmes: Teaching, Learning and Assessment .

Who can apply?

Students on the department's research programmes generally undertake some class teaching. Consequently, the majority of Graduate Teaching Assistants are the department's own PhD students. As a general rule, a GTA should have a postgraduate qualification in Economics, although qualifications in other related quantitative subjects such as finance, maths or statistics will also be considered. Applications from MSc students studying Economics with a strong academic background will be considered in certain circumstances. Good references are essential, and previous teaching experience would be an advantage although not essential. Applications from undergraduates will not be considered.

How to apply?

If you are applying to be a GTA for the first time, you should complete this application form.   Complete Part A of the application form, indicating the course(s) you would most like to teach and the number of hours you can commit to per week. Ask someone who can comment on your academic abilities and can give an opinion on your suitability for teaching, to complete Part B. Additional reference letters may be attached if desired.

If you are an existing GTA applying for a renewal of your appointment, you should complete this application form.

Once the form is complete, please return to the GTA Co-ordinator . If appointed, you will be required to show evidence of your nationality and therefore your eligibility to work in the UK before your apppintment is confirmed. This can be a copy of the relevant pages of your passport plus any relevant visa stamps or a copy of your national ID card or National Insurance card.

To improve your chances of selection, you are advised to choose three or four courses, in order of preference, that you would feel confident in teaching. To help you decide which course is for you, course outlines  can be viewed in the Undergraduate Handbook. Course Materials  can be viewed via the department's website, although some of this information is only accessible from within the School and only to enrolled students or existing staff members.

How many hours will I work?

Depending on the size of the course, hours normally range from three to five hours per week during twenty weeks of active teaching. Students with their own taught studies and examinations to consider are advised not to take on too many hours so that it compromises their own studies. Three hours per week is the average number of hours generally recommended for students with their own studies and examinations. Research students who are further along with their studies can take up to a maximum of five hours per week. This maximum may be extended in exceptional circumstances.

You must also remember that time will need to be set aside each week for tasks such as preparatory work for classes, marking class assignments and class teaching related administration.

You will arrange a weekly office hour (two if you teach four or more class hours per week) at a time convenient to both you and the majority of your students. You will provide academic support, discussing course material and answering questions arising from the lectures and classes.

Note, students are generally restricted to working a maximum of 20 hours per week during term-time.  This is particularly relevant for overseas students with a tier 4 visa, as there are restrictions on the number of hours you are permitted to work each week.  Check what your passport sticker (entry clearance or residence permit) or biometric resident permit (BRP) says.  You should also have received detailed information in a letter when you received your entry clearance or BRP.  It should say something like 'work limited to max 20 hours per week during term-time'.

Please bear this in mind before accepting any offer of work, particularly if you have another job, e.g. working as a GTA in another Department or working as a Research Assistant.    As a guide, if you teach 2 classes per week, the time for preparation and other duties is included in your contract, so this works out at around 7 hours per week.  For 3 classes it is around 8.5 hours per week.

How much will I be paid?

Teaching five classes per week is the maximum teaching load recommended.  This equates to 100 class hours spread over the academic year of approximately 20 weeks, starting in October and finishing in March of the following year. Most research students teach between three and five hours per week. You can see some examples of the teaching contract which shows how much you will be paid for teaching two, three or four classes per week. As well as the actual classes, the contract includes payment for time spent on holding weekly office hours, preparing for the classes, attending lectures and meetings with the course lecturer, marking of written course work during the term and administrative duties such as the completion of the on-line class registers and report forms as required by the Academic Registrar.

You will be paid extra for exam script marking in the Summer term. This is based on a marking rate of two exam scripts per hour, although there may be some minor variations in this rate from course to course.

Selection and Appointment

You can make an application throughout the year. However, once term-time class teaching is underway, vacant positions are rare. The main period for consideration of applications is during April - July preceding the new teaching year and your application will be kept on file until that time.

Referring to the criteria in the Who can apply? section, applications are treated in the following order of priority:

  • Applications from continuing class teachers, who are also registered students, with a proven track record of teaching with the department
  • New applications from research students registered in the Department of Economics
  • New applications from research students registered in a related LSE department, i.e. finance, mathematics, statistics
  • Occasionally, applications from research students studying economics registered at other local universities, will be considered. Typically, these include Imperial, KCL, LBS and UCL
  • Applications from MSc students registered in the Department of Economics

In most cases, if your application is successful you will be allocated to your first choice course. However, this might not always be possible so you should be prepared to be flexible and fit in according to the overall needs of the Department. If your first course choice has been fully allocated, your second or third choice will be allocated. You will normally be allocated to one course only. Exceptionally, experienced Graduate Teaching Assistants will be allocated to two different courses. Additionally, it may not always be possible to allocate the exact number of hours requested.

Once the course and hours have been agreed you will receive a letter or e-mail message confirming your appointment. Applicants who have not previously taught at the LSE are required to attend a short series of training courses  before their appointment can be confirmed. You will also be asked to complete some minor pieces of administration in connection with your appointment.

This includes completing a Personal Details and Timetabling Constraints Form. You should indicate which periods of the week you are not available to teach. This information will help the Timetables Office to schedule your classes at times convenient to you. However, for Graduate Teaching Assistants who are also students on taught courses, you may still be waiting to receive details of your own course schedule. If this is the case, you should complete and return the form as best you can. If subsequent clashes occur between your teaching schedule and your own course schedule, the Timetables Office will make every effort to make the necessary changes later. You can keep a check on your personal teaching timetable  if required.

Your details will then be passed to the School's Human Resources Division , who after confirming your eligibility to work, will issue you with a contract of employment. You should confirm your acceptance of the appointment by signing and returning one copy. You will also receive copies of the Terms and Conditions of Appointment , Guidance on Good Practice for the Employment of Graduate Teaching Assistants at LSE, a Bank/Building Society details form, so that your monthly salary can be paid directly into your account, an Employee Details form, asking for personal details such as address, telephone number, etc, and a P46 Tax Form, which you should complete to avoid paying tax or to pay tax at the correct level. You should complete and return the forms as appropriate.


It is a condition of appointment that all new Graduate Teaching Assistants to the department should attend a short series of training sessions . Even if you have previously taught at another university, you will still need to attend this training. These sessions are organised by the School's Teaching and Learning Centre (TLC) . The sessions are scheduled mostly during the early weeks of the Michaelmas Term. The training is split into three parts:

  • Part 1 - Introduction to running problem set classes and marking class work and assessing and marking class work (whole day)
  • Part 2 - Micro teaching workshop (half day)
  • Part 3 - Reviewing your teaching, writing student reports and references, and responding to student feedback about your teaching (half day)

For reference purposes, you may find the list of Tips and Techniques for Effective Class Teaching  useful. You can also view some very useful and pertinent information in the Handbook for Graduate Teaching Assistants .

All new teachers should also attend the Dean's Induction   (half day) in order to get acquainted with the School's rules, routines and expectations of performance which are attached to the role of GTA. The School expects and requires all involved in teaching to be fully aware of these rules, routines and procedures. The School will pay you £25 per half day session, up to a maximum of £125, to attend these sessions.

Those students who wish to take their teaching training further should also consider taking the LSE Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education (PGCertHE) , a formal qualification in teaching in HE which is externally accredited by a national body, the Higher Education Academy. For more information about the LSE PGCertHE and other TLC teaching training, please contact the TLC Administrator .

Language Support

One of the most common complaints received from students each year is that they cannot understand their GTA. This can be due to a particularly strong accent, talking too quickly or too softly. Therefore, for a GTA whose first language is not English, it is strongly recommended that you attend the English for Teaching Purposes training sessions  organised by the School's Language Centre . This training is for anyone involved in the teaching of students and is free of charge.

Teaching Quality and Evaluation

The Teaching Quality Assurance and Review Office (TQARO)  is responsible for monitoring and evaluating the quality of all teaching in the School. This is primarily achieved by carrying out a Teaching Survey  in the Michaelmas and Lent Terms. Students are asked to complete a questionnaire, which asks a number of pertinent questions concerning their GTA and their overall teaching experience. Many of the questions asked require the student to rate the performance of their GTA on a scale of 1 to 5, where 5 = unsatisfactory and 1 = excellent.

It is these ratings that the department is particularly interested in. The information is tabulated and each GTA receives a copy  of their individual results. The Head of Department  and the GTA Co-ordinator  also receive a copy. The information is then analysed to identify areas of strength and weakness. Where a GTA appears to be struggling, he or she will be contacted by the GTA Co-ordinator to discuss the matter. Very often, encouragement and support are all that is required to motivate a GTA to improve their performance. Sometimes extra formal training is needed. On rare occasions, the GTA's role will be reduced or the teaching contract terminated. The Survey information is also used to identify GTAs performing particularly well. This is useful in deciding who should receive the annual teaching prizes awarded by the School and the Department, and also for seeing who might make suitable candidates for Teaching Fellowships .

In addition to the School's survey, the department also has internal mechanisms in place for monitoring the quality of class teaching. This is primarily aimed at new GTAs and involves the course lecturer attending one of your classes early in Michaelmas Term to observe your performance and provide feedback. The observation should last no more than thirty minutes and will be arranged with your prior knowledge, at a time to suit you and the course lecturer. You will receive a completed copy of the Observation Record Form. Any areas of concern will be discussed with you by the course lecturer and/or the GTA Co-ordinator.

There is one other method the department uses to monitor class teaching performance. If a student has a problem with his or her GTA, they have the opportunity to draw this to the attention of the Departmental Undergraduate Tutor .  The Undergraduate Tutor may contact you directly or refer the matter to the GTA Co-ordinator, who will provide feedback to the GTA concerned. In a majority of cases, the problem is language related, i.e. a student whose first language is not English cannot understand the accent of the GTA, whose first language is also not English. It is usually sufficient to bring the reported problem to the attention of the GTA to see an improvement in performance. Sometimes additional training  is required.

So by pulling all of this information together, the department is able to identify GTAs in need of additional support and encouragement. Indeed, the department will always seek to support GTAs in the course of their duties. However, consistent under-performing will reluctantly result in the termination of an appointment.

September Course (EC400) Teaching

The September Course (EC400)  is a pre-sessional course for new MSc and MRes students. Graduate Teaching Assistants are needed for courses in Introductory Mathematics, Mathematics for Microeconomics and Macroeconomics; Statistics and Probability. GTAs who are selected should be available during the period mid-August to late September.

Lectures last for one hour and take place from 9.00 - 10.00am and 2.00 - 3.00pm. Classes last for one and a half hours and run during the period 10.15am - 1.15pm and 2.00 - 6.15pm. Total hours of work vary from three to four and a half hours of classes per day, over a three week period. You may also be asked to hold one office hour per week. You will carry out examination related duties, such as invigilation and script marking, at the end of the course.

You will also be expected to attend a short series of half day training courses before the September Course commences.

If you are interested in applying for a teaching position, please contact the PhD Programme Administrator  for further details. Research students in the Economics Department with proven previous teaching experience will receive selection priority.

Summer School Teaching

The Summer School  is held over three three-week sessions during June, July  and August. Most of the Summer School courses correspond to the department's regular undergraduate courses.

Depending on the timetable and number of classes allocated to a teacher, classes are scheduled in the morning, or in the afternoon after lectures. Typically, you might teach one or two classes per day.  Each class will be of 90 minutes duration.  For one session, this will amount to 18 or 36 class contact hours.

Other duties will include course work marking, invigilating and marking mid-term and final exams.  Your duties will end once you have completed the marking and you have agreed marks for the final examinations with the Course Lecturer.

The rate of pay for Summer School classes is £90 per hour, £25 per hour for exam invigilation and £9 per script for script marking.

Teaching applications can be submitted from the start of the Lent term. The closing date is usually around the end of Lent term. The selection process will generally be completed by the start of the Summer term. If you have any questions about the application process, please contact the GTA Co-ordinator.

Please note that many of the Summer School Course Lecturers will automatically pre-select their Summer School teachers from the best performing Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTA) who have taught on the equivalent term-time course during the year. Alternatively, the Lecturers may want to retain the services of a GTA who taught on their Summer School course in the previous year.

After this initial selection process, all other applications will be considered and any remaining GTA vacancies will be offered to the strongest candidates. Appointments are made based on previous teaching experience and information in reference letters.

Note that research students in the Economics Department, followed by research students from other related Departments such as Mathematics, Statistics and Finance, will receive selection priority. Candidates with previous teaching experience, particularly teaching at the LSE, and with strong results and feedback in the LSE Teaching Surveys  will have the best chance of selection. If you are applying from outside the LSE, you should provide equivalent evidence of your previous performance as a Teaching Assistant.    

With this in mind, if you are still interested in applying to be a Summer School GTA, you should complete a separate application form for session 1, session 2 and session 3. Complete Part A of the application form, indicating the course(s) you feel best qualified to teach. If you have not previously worked as a GTA in the Department, ask someone who can comment on your academic abilities and who can give an opinion on your suitability for teaching, to complete Part B. Additional reference letters may be attached if desired.

Teaching Fellowships

Around April each year, the Department advertises for a number of temporary, part-time Teaching Fellowship positions.

Applications are invited from candidates with a strong postgraduate degree in Economics or a related discipline, who are ideally in the final two years of their PhD.  Whilst the candidates research is taken into account, the main selection criteria is whether your field matches the Department's teaching needs, and your past teaching record.  Evidence of strong teaching abilities is essential.

These positions are to cover for full-time members of academic staff who are on leave, and are tenable for one year in the first instance.  Subject to satisfactory performance, an extension for a maximum of two further years is possible.

Candidates should be willing to teach up to 60 hours of Masters level classes (3 classes x 20 weeks).  60 hours of classes is generally the maximum number of hours you will teach.  This may involve teaching on two separate courses.  Other main duties include undertaking examination marking and academic advising duties.  A more detailed explanation of the duties can be found in the job description.

There are also other Teaching Fellow positions, such as Course Manager, for a number of large 1st and 2nd year undergraduate courses.   This role involves providing support to the course lecturers and acting as a point of contact for Teaching Assistants and students.  A more detailed explanation of the duties can be found in the job description

Additionally, there is a Course Manager position providing support to the University of London International Programmes (ULIP).   A more detailed explanation of the duties can be found in the job description.

The maximum starting salary is around £16,200 gross per annum. Note, it's not always possible for everyone to teach sufficient hours to earn the maximum salary, so please be aware of this.  Teaching Fellows also receive an additional allowance of £500 per year for research related expenses, which must be spent in the year of appointment, and cannot be carried forward to the following year in the event of a renewal of contract.

It is important you realise, that by accepting the offer of a job, you are making a commitment to undertake teaching and associated duties during the full period of the contract, i.e. from 1 September to 30 August in the following year.  You should therefore not arrange to be away from the LSE for extended periods, i.e. on field and research trips, particularly during term-time.   If you wish to spend time away from the LSE during the period of your contract, please discuss with the PhD Programme Manager first before making any arrangements.

Click here for details of appointments in 2015/16, including potential vacancies in 2016/17.  Note, the number of vacancies is subject to class teaching which may be allocated to members of Faculty.

You should apply using the LSE's online recruitment system.

Your application should include: 

  • A copy of your CV.
  • A covering letter explaining the reasons for applying.
  • Two reference letters from suitably qualified individuals who can recommend your for appointment.  At least one should be able to comment on your teaching abilities. 

Note, the Department, in common with most US departments, has a policy of not hiring its own PhD students into permanent (tenure track) positions until they have worked elsewhere for at least two years. Thus, LSE students holding a Temporary Teaching Fellowship should not expect that it will eventually evolve into a permanent position.

Handbook for graduate teaching assistants