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Postgraduate study
Education & Youth

Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (Academic Professional)


Course overview

This Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (Academic Professional) apprenticeship route has been developed to meet the professional development needs of practitioners who are new to teaching and supporting learning roles in higher education. It is a work-based course that provides extensive training and work experience in both the core elements of the apprenticeship and in the specialist route for teaching.

Students come from a range of institutions and this offers you the opportunity for collaborative work and discussion. You can take up to 24 months to complete the course and the majority of your learning will be based on your own teaching practice.

The apprenticeship standard and assessment plan are aligned to the current editions of the Higher Education Academy UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF). A successful apprentice who meets the requirements for the specialist teaching role will be eligible for professional recognition as a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. More about the UKPSF. It comprises four descriptors that incorporate a comprehensive set of professional standards and guidelines for everyone involved in teaching and supporting learning in HE. Further details of the academic professional standard


Course details

Modules have been developed to ensure that they support your professional role and identity in terms of your teaching and supporting learning activities.

Course structure

Core modules

Being an Academic Professional

This module incorporates trainer provided and employer-supported aspects of the Academic Professional Standard. You are supported to complete this module in the same time period as it takes to complete the Facilitating Learning in Higher Education and Developing Academic Practice modules. There is however the option for you to take an additional six months to complete this module. The purpose of this is to consolidate learning and enable you to complete the end-point assessment plan to satisfy the criteria for the Academic Professional Standard.

Developing Academic Practice

?This module is designed to enable a range of higher education professionals who have a role in supporting learning and teaching to advance your knowledge in your own area of practice in order to contribute to a high quality student learning experience. You develop knowledge and understanding of Teesside University’s processes of designing and developing modules and programmes as well as developing a critical awareness of current drivers, eg TEF, NSS and UKPSF, and issues in higher education. You focus on an educational issue of relevance to you, negotiated with the tutor, and apply learning from contemporary academic theory, pedagogic research and/or scholarship to develop a project to enhance higher education practice. You will also be expected to seek out and take advantage of additional opportunities to address your identified professional development needs.

Facilitating Learning in Higher Education

You develop knowledge and understanding of, and skills in, your role as a teacher in higher education. The module prompts you to engage with institutional and external drivers, in particular Teesside University academic strategy and the United Kingdom Professional Standards Framework for Teaching and Supporting Learning in Higher Education, as well as the Teaching Excellence Framework, and to reflect upon your impact on learning and teaching in higher education. The module employs the concept of the ‘informed, reflective and competent practitioner’ as a framework to enable you to interpret and apply knowledge and understanding to your own practice as educators. Stemming from this, you undertake a critical and analytical appraisal of the academic role across a selection of core learning-and-teaching activities. An important part of the module is promoting continuing reflection on teaching practice, for which a teaching-observation component is one of the main triggers.


Modules offered may vary.


How you learn

While studying the academic professional route you are entitled to an allocation of at least 20% of your normal work-time for academic study, which is agreed with your employer. You study this course on a part-time basis, however your programme includes elements delivered using distance learning, blended learning and there are initial blocks of teaching for each module. All modules include work-based elements and application of theory to practice.

The course is managed and taught by principal and senior lecturers who all hold either fellowship or senior fellowship of the Higher Education Academy.

How you are assessed

You are provided with course and module guides containing comprehensive information about your assessments. You complete a portfolio for each module. However these will differ in content in order to reflect the different purpose of each module. You then use some of the content from these portfolios to develop three further assessment tasks to satisfy the end-point assessment of the academic professional route you are studying.
Find out more

Your progression through the course will be discussed at regular meetings with your course team and workplace mentors
Formative assessment, includes, but is not limited to, online discussions, individual feedback about any draft pieces of evidence, synchronous and asynchronous discussions, as well as observers’ comments on observed teaching sessions.


Entry requirements

Standard University postgraduate entry criteria will apply plus:

You must demonstrate that you are currently teaching and/or supporting learning on HE level provision (minimum 50 hours per academic year).

An apprenticeship agreement is required at the commencement of an apprenticeship.

Applicants without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking the end-point assessment.

For general information please see our overview of entry requirements



Career opportunities

Participants on the course can progress to the MA Education



  • Not available full-time


2021/22 entry

Fee for UK applicants


More details about our fees

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