The School of Law - University of Bristol

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Graduate Teaching Assistant



                    Graduate Teaching Assistant Studentships

Applications are invited for two Graduate Teaching Assistants in the School of Law. The
successful applicants will conduct a programme of research for the degree of PhD and also
conduct tutorials in no more than two subjects within the law curriculum up to a maximum of
80 hours per annum. Candidates should have a first or upper second class Honours degree
in Law or a degree with an adequate law-related component and should also hold (or be
working towards) a Masters degree in Law.

We welcome applications relating to any field of law, however please note that our current
teaching needs lie in the following areas: tort, company law, corporate governance and
banking law.

Finance and Duties

The Graduate Teaching Assistant studentship will provide the following financial support
for a 3 year period:

•      The cost of tuition fees at the Home/EU rate for 2011/12 (£3,732).
•      An annual maintenance grant of £13,590 paid in three installments.
•      A teaching payment of up to £3,309.60 per annum.

The Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) will normally be asked to provide 80 hours of
teaching. Teaching will be allocated by Head of School during the summer. A GTA will be full
member of the team teaching the unit to which they are assigned and will mark formative and
summative essays in the same way as other members of staff.

Responsibilities as a GTA will be:

1.    To pursue a research degree in the School of Law and demonstrate satisfactory
progress with research and teaching/teaching-related duties on an annual basis.

2.     To carry out the teaching and/or teaching-related duties (including marking of
formative and summative assessments) assigned by the Head of School. It is a condition
of the appointment that GTAs do not take on any additional paid employment during term
time without permission from the Head of School.

3.    To complete the two-day Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Programme
(spread over two weeks) run by the Education Support Unit, which is compulsory for all
postgraduates who teach. There is no cost to attend this programme, but places get
booked up early. For further information see (


1. General induction into teaching duties will be overseen by the Teaching and Learning

2. A teaching mentor will be assigned by the Teaching and Learning Director to the GTA
to offer support and advice (likely to be a unit coordinator for one of the units (or the unit)

on which the GTA teaches).


1. A studentship will be terminated if the GTA does not demonstrate satisfactory progress
with research, or if the performance of their teaching and/or teaching related duties is

2. Studentships will last for a maximum of three years of full-time registration.

The University and the City of Bristol

The University of Bristol ( is a world-class university offering a
stimulating academic environment with centres of excellence in all faculties. In its Mission
Statement it declares its commitment to excellence in teaching and learning within an
environment of internationally recognised research. It organises its academic affairs in six
faculties (Arts, Engineering, Law, Medicine, Science and Social Sciences); all departments
are research active and there are in addition some 15 collaborative research centres. The
University comprises approximately 10,000 undergraduate and 3,000 postgraduate students.
The demand for undergraduate places is very strong, with an average of 11 applications for
each place. The University has an expanding European education commitment, an active
postgraduate teaching programme and strong links with the local community and the region.
 There is an ambitious programme for expansion, with a major "Campaign for Resource" to
facilitate future developments, which has brought some £78 million of external investment to
the University.
The University is an integral part of the City of Bristol, a prosperous and beautiful city with a
history going back 1000 years. With a population of over 400,000, Bristol is the largest city in
the South West and the region's leading centre for business, culture and education. The city
has a long tradition of engineering and is also home to many of the newer financial services
and media industries. The old docks in the city centre, now a thriving focus for leisure and the
arts, retain many echoes of Bristol's maritime history. Theatre, music, the fine arts and
cinema are all well represented. There are many fine Georgian buildings as well as striking,
modern structures. The city itself is well provided with open space and parkland and is within
easy reach of attractive countryside. Bristol has its own international airport and offers easy
rail and motorway links to London, Birmingham and the North, Oxford, Wales and the West

The School of Law

The School of Law achieved independent status in 1933 and is currently a single department
School. The Head of School is Professor Celia Wells. There are approximately 50 full-time
members of the academic staff, including 21 professors, as well as a number of research staff
including two Senior Research Fellows. The research interests of all full-time staff are given
below. The School is housed in the Wills Memorial Building, the historic centre of the
campus. It is a striking neo-Gothic building designed and commissioned in 1913, completed
in 1925, and is a local landmark. The Wills Library, much of which is devoted to law, is
housed in the same building. It is among the best-equipped academic law libraries in the UK
and also houses a European Documentation Centre equipped with all leading law databases.

The School has all-round strengths across a wide range of activities both internal and external
and maintains a good balance between senior and junior academic staff. The School has
strong links with the legal profession, both nationally and regionally.
The School is part of the Social Science Faculty and enjoys close working relations with other
faculties in the University. There are joint degrees with the Faculties of Arts and Science, and
strong links with the Centre for Medical Ethics.
The strategic plan developed by the School of Law aims to retain excellent grades for
teaching and learning and to maintain the very high standards of admission. The School has
led the way in broadening admissions criteria. It will remain responsive to changes in the
rapidly developing world of legal education and has recently re-modelled its degree
programmes to incorporate the Law Benchmark Standards. It also contributes actively to
policy developments, to the enhanced practice of the discipline of law and to law reform
initiatives across a broad field.

Teaching and Learning

At undergraduate level, there are approximately 740 students. In addition to the three-year
degree of LLB there are four-year degrees in Law & French, Law & German Law, with Study
in Continental Europe and Law with Study Abroad. Students also have the opportunity of
studying abroad for a year by means of the exchange programme with the University of
Nanjing in China. Demand from students for entry to Law at Bristol is very high, with around
1,500 applicants for the 150 home student places for entry in autumn 2010, and an average
A-level score of AAA to AAB. The School aims to recruit 50-60 international applicants each
year. In 2010 it admitted over 60 international undergraduate students having received
around 410 applications. Teaching is delivered by lectures, seminars and tutorials, with a
continuing emphasis on small group teaching.

At postgraduate level, there are 240 students currently enrolled. The School offers a very
successful LLM by Advanced Study, the MSc in Socio-Legal Studies and a two-year MA in
Law as well as its PhD and MPhil by research programmes.
It usually has as many as 45 research postgraduates registered at any one time, working in a
wide variety of subject areas and adopting a range of different approaches to legal research
(doctrinal, socio-legal/inter-disciplinary and theoretical), in turn reflecting the breadth of
research interests amongst the academic staff.


The School of Law demonstrates research strengths across a wide range of disciplines (see
staff list below), and all academic staff publish in their fields. Currently there is the Centre for
the Study of Law the Centre for IT Law and the Human Rights Implementation Centre. The
School maintains a healthy balance between doctrinal, theoretical and empirical research.

90 per cent of our research was recognised as of international quality in the 2008 Research
Assessment Exercise, and 55 per cent was internationally excellent or world leading. As we
submitted the work of 43 full time equivalent members of staff, this attests to wide ranging
research capability in Bristol Law School. There is a Research Committee that encourages
the research activities of staff.

A number of members of staff hold editorships of reputable academic journals. In recent
years the School has hosted successful conferences in administrative justice, comparative
law, gender studies, international and European law, and socio-legal studies.            Senior
members of staff are active in law reform, both substantive and procedural.

There are excellent facilities for research supervision, training and support:

Supervision Arrangements

All research students in the School of Law are assigned a principal and deputy supervisor.
The principal supervisor also acts as personal tutor. The role of the deputy supervisor is
limited to covering for extended periods when the principal supervisor is absent through study
or maternity leave or through illness, and to sharing decisions regarding the process of up-
grading from the LL.M. by research to PhD, Thesis Review, and the mock viva (see below).
As a student’s research develops, it may become desirable to substitute the deputy
supervisor for the principal, or to change supervisor entirely.


The School provides research students with a wide range of facilities.
    The Wills Memorial Library accommodates one of the largest collections of legal
      materials outside London and Oxbridge and, if the materials they need are not
      available in Bristol, research students have access to inter-library loan facilities.
    Research students have a designated study room, equipped with desks, computers,
      printers, filing cabinets, and a telephone. In addition, a number of private study rooms
      are available in the Arts and Social Sciences Library.
    Students are encouraged to attend lunchtime research seminars at which colleagues
      or outside speakers present informal papers on current research projects.
    A series of University courses specifically designed for Research Students is freely
      available. Finally, the School assists research students with research expenses, for
      example, those incurred in attending conferences.

Research Training

The School takes the view that although the completion of an undergraduate law degree or a
taught masters course is a sound basis for beginning a research degree, further training is
nevertheless required. In addition to the University’s courses for research students, therefore,
the School runs its own research training programme. First year research students are
required to attend a series of seminars, which aims to provide them with the necessary tools
to undertake a diverse range of research topics. Seminars in the autumn term are conducted
by various members of the academic and support staff, and address generic themes relevant
to research degrees in law. The seminars also provide a forum in which research students
can raise matters of general concern. In the spring term, students are given the opportunity
to present their work to one another and to interested members of staff. In addition, new
research students are encouraged to audit one taught LL.M. unit. This requires preparation,
attendance and participation, but does not involve any written work or examinations. A list of
the LL.M. units that are offered is available online.

Monitoring Performance

The School takes great care to monitor the progress of its research students and to ensure
that any problems are quickly identified and resolved. To this end, supervisors are required to
complete yearly report forms, following a progress meeting between principal supervisor and
student. Students have the opportunity to comment on the supervisor's assessment of their
progress, or on any other aspect of the supervisor’s role.

At the end of the first year, the up-grading process usually takes place. The decision on
whether a student is ready to up-grade is made by the principal and deputy supervisors acting
jointly, and is based on a sample of the student's written work (usually a chapter of their
thesis), together with an outline of the entire project.
Finally, towards the end of their studies, ideally at the beginning of their final year, all PhD
candidates are expected to produce a Thesis Summary, providing an updated statement of
their research aims and findings.

The student body at both undergraduate and postgraduate level is a truly international one,
with students from all parts of Europe as well as a substantial number from the Far East and
Africa. This great diversity enhances the cultural richness of student life, both academic and

Application procedure
Applications should be made online at the following web-page:

Candidates must also provide a synopsis of the programme of research they intend to
conduct (please refer to Guidance for Completing a Synopsis), two references and a
transcript of their current or most recent degree.

Please quote ‘School of Law Graduate Teaching Assistant’ on the application.

The closing date for applications will be 5pm on 10 June 2011.
Further enquiries may be directed to:

         Mark Samways
         Postgraduate Co-ordinator
         School of Law
         Room 2.15, Wills Memorial Building
         Queens Road
         Bristol BS8 1RJ UK
Email:        Telephone:        +44 (0)117 954 5225


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