The Department of English & Cultural Studies recognizes the importance of teaching as an integral part of our graduate degree programs. For this reason, all full-time graduate students are given a teaching assistantship, supported by faculty-led supervision and peer advice.
MA and Year 1 PhD students typically teach first-year undergraduate English and Cultural Studies courses, and we work to offer our doctoral students a range of teaching and research experiences over their four years of study. This may include working as a TA in upper-level English courses, or outside of the department in programs like Theatre & Film, Women’s Studies, Peace Studies, or Communication Studies.
TA-ships generally involve running weekly tutorials, grading student work, and meeting with students individually. Marking TAs do not run tutorials, but grade essays and may meet with students individually to discuss their work. Some senior PhD students may be assigned a senior TA position, which involves assisting the instructor, and providing resources to their fellow TAs. All TAs work a maximum of 130 hours per term. More information on TAships is available here: http://english.humanities.mcmaster.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/13/2015/04/TA-Hand-Booklet-2017-18.pdf
A limited number of Teaching Fellowships is available to upper year PhD students. Students holding fellowships serve as primary instructors for an undergraduate course, and may also supervise TAs. These fellowships are awarded based on students’ qualifications in the course subject, and progress completing program requirements. PhD students are allowed to complete up to two course sections as a Teaching Fellow over the duration of their doctoral studies to a maximum of 6 units of teaching.
Some of our faculty have substantial research grants which include funding for Research Assistants (RAs). The department is also associated with two academic journals which regularly hire Editorial Assistants. Doctoral students are invited to ballot for these positions on an annual basis. Priority is given to those students in Year 5 and above, who are no longer eligible for scholarship or TA funding.