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Summer School

UCL Postgraduate Taster Presenters

The Widening Participation Office run programmes such as school group visits, conference days and summer schools for students from ages 10 to 18 throughout the year. For all of these events we aim to include enrichment taster sessions, using Taster Presenters, to give students a flavour of the academic range and challenges they will experience at university.

Working as a Taster Presenter is an excellent way to develop teaching skills, to practise communicating your research, and to inspire young people to study your subject in the future.

How can I get involved?

The first step towards becoming a Taster Presenter is to apply by completing a Taster Presenter proposal form and emailing in to james.king@ucl.ac.uk , Access Officer (Pre-16 team). This is a description of your session content, and a lesson plan, with estimated timings for each element of your session. In the first instance an outline of a 45 minute session will be sufficient.

There is no deadline for completing the form; we accept applications all year round. Current UCL postgraduate students on all taught or research programmes from all UCL departments can apply.

What should a session include?

Taster sessions need to have a clear link to one or more academic subjects taught at UCL, and must be interactive, engaging and appropriate for the age group. Group discussions, debates, quizzes, practical demonstrations and interesting video clips or visuals are particularly effective. You can download a model presentation template here.

Examples of taster presentations by UCL postgraduates:

  • 'The Hideous Phantasm of a Man': Monsters in the Victorian Age (English Literature)
  • The Philosophy of The Matrix; (Philosophy)
  • What Do Babies Know? (Neuroscience)
  • Mission to Mars: should we send humans to colonise the red planet? (Astrophysics)
  • Do Beards Cause Heart Disease? (Epidemiology)
When will I be required to work?

Work opportunities are available throughout the year during school terms, half terms and summer holidays. Some programmes run on Saturdays or in the early evenings. Most programmes run at UCL, but we also send presenters out to London schools (we can provide a pre-paid Oyster card to cover travel costs). 

Most opportunities are for presenting to GCSE or A level students, but there are many opportunities to work with younger students. You can specify the age groups you prefer to work with. The format of jobs will vary: you may be asked to deliver a 45 minute taster presentation to a large group, or to develop a longer workshop for a smaller class.

UCL Access Officers will contact you by email when they have opportunities that match your skills and subject area, and will give you full details of the job. You can choose the jobs you want to work on and there is no minimum commitment.

What happens after I submit a session proposal?

Once your proposal has been approved, you will be invited to meet with several members of the WP team to talk through your session so we can review the content and provide feedback on its suitability for our programmes and audiences.

Once approved, you will be added to the Taster Presenter pool and will be contacted by UCL Access officers when opportunities are available.

If you would like to discuss your ideas before submitting a proposal, please contact james.king@ucl.ac.uk for advice.

Is the work paid?

Taster Presenters are paid at an hourly rate of £17.70 (UCL grade 7 point 29) for every hour of teaching. You will also be paid for two hours' preparation time.