(Formally called 'Subject Groups')
The Law Faculty teaching groups play a crucial role in bringing Faculty members together to co-ordinate lecturing, oversee research graduate admissions, and develop Faculty reading lists. The diversity of courses that we teach means that a ‘one size fits all’ model for teaching groups is not possible, but below are a few working principles for them.
Organisation and Purpose
- The role of teaching groups is to organise the Faculty aspects of teaching subjects and oversee their development in a spirit of cooperation. Each group shares responsibility for Faculty teaching in its field, under the oversight of the Directors (and committees) for Undergraduate and Graduate Studies, and the Law Board.
- All undergraduate and graduate courses should be coordinated through a teaching group. In some cases, one teaching group may co-ordinate related courses and in other cases the teaching group is responsible for a single course.
- Any disagreements or problems within a teaching group can be raised by any member of the group with the Director of Undergraduate Studies or Director of Graduate Studies, or with the Vice Chair of Law Board in the first instance.
- Any teaching by non-Faculty postholders required by a teaching group should be requested using the standard Additional teaching application form.
- Each teaching group and each course co-ordinated by a teaching group should have named convenors. These may be the same person. Convenors will be the official point of contact between the Faculty and subject and course groups.
Current teaching groups and convenors are listed on the intranet (single sign-on needed) and you can also use some of these lists to send e-mails:
Most subject groups now manage themselves through WebLearn, but changes may still be made to the above pages if requested.
You can also e-mail our 'Key College Contacts' (formerly 'Senior Subject Tutors') via the list on our intranet. This is a list of the single, nominated point of contact for Law in each college.
Teaching group convenors are responsible for:
- co-ordinating discussions about the future development of the subject in light of current and future teaching resources.
- co-ordinating graduate research student admissions
- completing the annual convenor’s return
Course convenors are responsible for:
- co-ordinating Faculty teaching provision in the course
- updating the Faculty core reading list, statute lists and case lists annually, in consultation with other members of the teaching group.
- supplying the correct information and material for the examining process when requested by the Faculty.
- completing the course convenor’s return
- applying for additional teaching if required
- reviewing the Mods/FHS examination paper
Core course convenors may engage the help of a Research Assistant for up to 6 hours per year to help with reading lists (and these hours may be shared between Co-convenors for the same course).
The role of convenor should rotate every three years. It is the role of the outgoing convenor to nominate a successor, and this should not be the convenor’s immediate predecessor. Should it not be possible to fulfill this requirement, the matter should be brought to the Undergraduate Studies Committee for discussion. Co-convenors are subject to the same rotation rule.
Teaching groups must meet at least once a year to
- review College and Faculty teaching needs, including the role of GTAs (see below)
- discuss graduate supervision
- discuss examining needs
- discuss what material is examinable in light of legal developments
- review the Faculty reading list and materials in the exam room
- discuss matters of general policy
- Each Faculty post holder may decide what University teaching to give, subject to the terms of his or her University contract. However, post holders should carry out that responsibility in cooperation with other members of their teaching group.
- No course can run without 2 or more Faculty members with Faculty stint being responsible for it.
- Teaching arrangements for a course should be developed on a consultative and cooperative basis involving all members of the teaching group. They should be reviewed regularly in light of changes in the membership of the teaching group.
- Any teaching needs in an undergraduate or graduate course should be met by a call to Faculty members with Faculty stint in the first instance.
- Tutorial teaching for core undergraduate subjects is the responsibility of Colleges, but convenors can help College tutors who have not otherwise been able to find such teaching (this is a particular issue in regards to MJur subjects) to do so. Those wishing to teach the subject should notify the convenor of their availability.
- The Faculty runs a faculty graduate teaching assistant (GTA) scheme and teaching groups can bid for a GTA in their subject in early TT (usually to carry out undergraduate tutorial teaching). The responsibility for mentoring and supervising a GTA rests with the subject group. See here for further information.
Updating reading lists
- Each reading list should clearly state its purpose (e.g. indicating material which an examiner can properly expect a student to have knowledge of; as a general list of relevant publications; a list of texts that students are expected to have read etc); and should also contain a copy of the exam rubric for the paper in question.
- Reading lists should be updated at the start of Michaelmas Term each year
- Teaching groups may make changes to reading lists between Michaelmas and the end of Hilary, provided that where a list has been changed the fact of change is clearly denoted on the relevant Weblearn pageby means of an agreed convention (e.g. an exclamation mark), and on the list itself by means of highlighting.
- Where the role of a list is to specify material that a student is expected to know for FHS, the list should reviewed during Hilary Term to ensure that the list at the end of Hilary term contains any materials that examiners would require students to know for FHS examinations in Trinity term.
- Reading lists should include a statement of the teaching conventions for the subject as it appears in the student handbook.
PB, M-CW, LF, RW, CV
28 June 2017