Director of Teaching and Learning (Undergraduate)

Role and Responsibilities

The Director of Teaching and Learning (Undergraduate) will have delegated responsibility for the undergraduate affairs of the School and will play a central strategic role with regard to both existing and new teaching programmes. The DUTL in the school of medicine is responsible for these roles for students studying courses in Medicine, Physiotherapy, Radiotherapy, Nutrition and health and human disease.Some of the functions of the DUTL in Disciplines outside medicine are delegated to the Heads of Disciplines or their deputies.

In addition to interacting with the Head of School and the School Executive, the DUTL will work through programme co-ordinators and heads of discipline. Where there are significant resource implications, final responsibility must lie with the Head of School. Nonetheless, most operational decision-making will be delegated to the Director and he/she will in turn delegate detailed functions to the programme co-ordinators and heads of discipline.

Broadly, three main areas of responsibility are identified for the Director of Teaching and Learning (Undergraduate):

  • General management of the undergraduate teaching programmes.
  • Promotion of best practice and innovation in accordance with the Report of the Working Party on Teaching and Learning (February 2003).
  • Development of overall policy with regard to both existing teaching programmes and proposed new programmes.

General Management

Undergraduate Student Body - to have responsibility for course promotion, abridged entry, and advising the Senior Lecturer on the admission of non-standard applicants; to articulate the position of the School in student cases. The DUTL has shared responsibility for the interview and selection of international and mature students.

Programme Organization - to co-ordinate the timetabling process, including the confirmation where appropriate of core and optional modules; to appoint year/stream/laboratory co-ordinators; to ensure the production of course handbooks. The School of Medicine has students based in 18 sites and undergoing electives in many more. The DUTLs office oversees coordination between these institutions and maintaining a level of consistency in policies.   

Programme Delivery - together with the Head of School and Heads of Discipline, to assign teaching duties and tutorial support; to ensure adequate teaching infrastructure.The DUTL also liases with the medical boards and management of affiliated hospitals and institutions to ensure that they are kept up to date with curricular and management issues and to recruit staff to participate in teaching activities. The DUTL also participates in the identification of staff to receive teaching stipends annually.

Co-ordination of inter-School programmes - to have particular responsibility for the co-ordination of inter-School programmes, through participation in co-ordinating committees, liaison with Directors of Teaching and Learning (Undergraduate) in participating Schools. Particular cognisance needs to be taken, in relation to inter-school programmes, of resource implications and the management of programmes. The DUTL is also involved in the coordination with the other Directors of Undergraduate Training, the Senior Lecturer and the Undergraduate Studies Committee in respect of organisational changes in teaching and learning, adopted at college level that may not be consistent with standards or practices expected of a Medical School.

Examinations - to take overall charge of all School examination activities including the submission of papers, nomination of and liaison with external examiners, scheduling of meetings of the Court of Examiners, publication of results; and representing the School at the Faculty Court of Appeal. The DUTL has the supervisory responsibility to ensure that clinical examiners not directly employed by the University are selected with appropriate care and that they undergo education before exams both by direct communication and by provision of examiners packs.
General administration – The DUTL responds to requests for information from central College offices. The DUTL office also responds to appropriate requests from partner institutions and oversees requests for access to students and interns for the purpose of research.

Academic Practice

Quality - to have responsibility for liaising with other School Officers in the preparation of the self-assessment and supporting material for quality reviews, and to have particular responsibility for undergraduate elements; to co-ordinate the representation of undergraduate activity in the context of quality review processes; to co-ordinate student course evaluations and ensure the provision of appropriate feedback; to ensure a system of structured student-staff meetings to deal with particular issues.  The DUTL or their deputy attends and chairs all meetings and processes associated with student activity and experience within the School. These include the Curriculum Committees, Student Welfare Committees, Fresh and Sophister Planning Committees, and intern committees.

The DUTL or deputy attends student case meetings to help identify and resolves individual student’s issues. Students with suspected issues or needs can attend these meetings with their College Tutors and the DUTL acts for the school in trying to provide help and remediation.

Teaching - to promote a scholarly approach to teaching including the development and use of teaching portfolios; the implementation of appropriate mentoring schemes for academic staff; the provision of advice and guidance to staff on these matters; and liaison with the Centre for Academic Practice and Student Learning regarding teaching and learning development. The DUTLS office also coordinates and supports the activities of lecturer/ registrars and local administration staff in the organisation and provision of teaching activities in all sites.   
Accreditation - overseeing the process of undergraduate professional accreditation as appropriate. The DUTL must provide additional documentation and transcripts to permit students’ Irish Medical Council Accreditation on completion of their Final exams. They also provide appropriate documentation to International Students to enable them to achieve local registration and to undertake residency programmes and post graduate training in their own countries

Strategic Planning

School Academic Policy - in consultation with the Head of School and the School Executive, to draft statements of curriculum/programme philosophy, balances between generic skills and specialist knowledge, and teaching and learning philosophy. Specifically in the School of Medicine we must maintain the balance between clinical and academic training and between differing modalities of teaching and to maintain components mandated by the IMC and other professional bodies.

Programme review - to undertake a periodic critical analysis of the programmes offered by the School and make recommendations to the School Executive regarding appropriate action. In the School of Medicine the programmes are maintained under review by the various committees described above, the school management team and the School executive all of which are attended by the DUTL who makes proposals and provides advice in these respects.

Programme Development - to co-ordinate the development of the School's undergraduate activity, in the context of the School's strategic plans. To assess proposals for new programmes or major curriculum extensions and to present proposals in this regard to the School Executive for consideration. The DUTL ensures that proposed new programmes or elements are consistent with established and approved components. That they are also consistent with the requirements of good professional practice as defined by IMC and WFME publications and that they are deliverable in the time and with the resource available.

Liaison with internal and external stakeholders - to liaise with stakeholders including those in cognate Schools and in Schools involved in joint courses, graduate employers, State, semi-State and commercial agencies, and professional bodies. The office of the DUTL in Medicine also must maintain liaison with all the partner institutions of the school of medicine and with all institutions attended by students or  providing students on elective placement. It also maintains contacts with organisation involved in identifying and supporting prospective international students wishing to attend Trinity Medical School.


The Director of Teaching and Learning (Undergraduate) is nominated for appointment by, and reports to, the Head of School. The term of appointment will normally be two years, renewable for a further two, and commencing on the day following the end of Trinity Term of the relevant year, usually early in July. Most DUTLs are full-time member of the academic staff of respective Schools however this is rarely possible in the School of Medicine as most staff hold partial clinical contracts. Accordingly, and because of the increased level of responsibilities falling to the Medicine DUTL and the relatively very large number of teaching  staff, there is a Deputy DUTL appointed to the School of Medicine on a permanent basis.  Candidates are appointed by the University Council and Board following recommendation by the Head of the School. The Director is an ex-officio member of the Undergraduate Studies Committee and the School Executive.