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Academic and Professional Pathway for Teaching Excellence (APP TE)

APP TE is a part time, practice-based programme, successful completion of which awards Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy. The 12 month programme considers key educational theories, and draws upon the evidence-base provided by recent scholarship and educational research in the field of higher education learning and teaching to create an understanding of what teaching excellence looks like within your discipline. There are also opportunities to work collaboratively and to share practice and experience with your colleagues, both face to face and online, benefiting from their insight and expertise within a community of practice.

The APP TE programme has been designed for academic staff who have recently joined the University of Warwick, and who are required to gain a higher education teaching qualification in order to meet the conditions of their probation. New staff must begin the programme within eight months of their appointment. If you are unable to begin the programme within eight months of your appointment please contact us as soon as possible via email at

New members of academic staff who have been teaching for more than three years full-time equivalent and can evidence engagement with a range of professional development activities and a proven and sustained track record of teaching and supporting learning in HE may be eligible to:

  • apply for partial exemption; or
  • follow the Pathway for Experienced Staff (APP EXP) to Fellowship.

If you believe that you may be eligible to apply for partial exemption, you should still complete a registration form and attend the two-day residential event. Existing academic staff who are already working at Warwick are not able to register on the APP TE programme, but are instead encouraged to pursue the Pathway for Experienced Staff (APP EXP) in order to gain HEA Fellowship.

The aims of the programme are to:

  • enable participants to evidence successful practice against Descriptor Two of the UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF) in order to gain Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA);
  • provide a means for probationary academic staff to demonstrate their knowledge, skills and development as competent and effective practitioners during their probationary period;
  • inspire participants to become reflective practitioners by offering conceptual frameworks for critical reflection and practical mechanisms for building a teaching ePortfolio, thus securing a commitment to continuing professional development and to remaining in good standing;
  • communicate the importance of evidence-based practice, providing opportunities for participants to engage critically with appropriate pedagogic literature and the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in order to enhance their teaching practice;
  • create opportunities for participants to benefit from peer support, evaluation and feedback in relation to their teaching practice;
  • stimulate professional dialogue around learning and teaching, and to promote dissemination of good practice within and beyond departmental, disciplinary and institutional contexts;
  • sustain the growth of an institutional culture which values, supports and rewards teaching excellence, and which unites teaching and research in effective, creative and innovative ways.

The intended learning outcomes of the APP TE programme are closely mapped to the UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF). The UKPSF is a nationally recognised framework for benchmarking success within HE teaching and learning support. Developed by the Higher Education Academy (HEA) on behalf of the UK higher education sector, Guild HE and Universities UK the framework is comprised of a set of descriptors which outline four categories of teaching and learning support in relation to the Dimensions of Professional Practice which fall into three categories:

  • areas of activity undertaken by teachers and support staff;
  • core knowledge needed to carry out those activities at the appropriate level;
  • professional values that individuals performing these activities should exemplify.

APP TE is mapped against Descriptor Two (Fellowship). On successful completion of the programme participants will be able to:

Areas of Activity

  • design and plan effective learning activities and/or programmes of study appropriate to students’ level and discipline [A1];
  • teach and support student learning at all levels in higher education, which may include doctoral supervision, with an appropriate level of critical reflection and analysis [A2];
  • select and implement a range of assessment techniques (formative and summative) which are designed to enhance student learning and/or to offer valid and reliable appraisal of student achievement [A3];
  • create effective feedback and maximise opportunities for feedback in order impact positively upon student learning [A3];
  • design effective learning environments (physical and virtual) within and beyond the classroom [A4];
  • identify good practice in student support and guidance within the role of the personal tutor. [A4];
  • engage in continuing professional development in subjects/disciplines and their pedagogy, incorporating research, scholarship and the evaluation of professional practices. [A5]

Appropriate knowledge and understanding across all aspects core knowledge*

  • demonstrate and document appropriate methods for teaching, learning and assessing in their own discipline relevant to the level of study within the context of a research-intensive university [K2];
  • demonstrate critical understanding of key concepts and theories relating to how students learn both generally and within their own discipline and to apply those theories in order to create engaged student learning [K3];
  • recognise the use and value of technology to support teaching and learning and be able to select and employ technology appropriately and effectively to achieve specific pedagogical aims [K4];
  • review and evaluate the effectiveness of their practice using a range of self, peer and student monitoring and evaluation techniques [K5];
  • articulate the impact of quality assurance and quality enhancement within higher education practice [K6].

Commitment to professional values

  • show respect for individual learners and diverse learning communities [V1];
  • evidence inclusive practice which promotes equality of opportunity for learners [V2];
  • demonstrate a commitment to evidence-informed practice, incorporating outputs from research, scholarship and your own continuing professional development in order to enhance your own practice and student learning [V3];
  • demonstrate an awareness of how institutional, national and other contexts impact upon your academic practice [V4].

* it is assumed that strong knowledge of the subject material was a condition of employment, and therefore Core Knowledge K1 is a requisite for entry and not developed directly by the APP programme.

There are eight units, all of which are mapped against the UKPSF.

  • Scholarly teaching and the teaching-research nexus: explores the intersection between disciplinary research and teaching excellence, and considers how engagement with pedagogic research can enrich and enhance teaching practice. It provides foundational skills to enable participants to engage with the scholarship of teaching and learning, and introduces the principles and frameworks for reflective practice which participants will use throughout the programme and beyond.
  • Teaching for learning: introduces key educational theories which influence approaches to teaching and learning and inform dominant research paradigms. It enables participants to think critically about their own assumptions about learning, the demands placed by their discipline, and by a variety of learning contexts in order to create engaging and effective student learning.
  • The role of the personal tutor: considers the key competencies required to become an effective personal tutor.
  • Design for learning: looks critically at approaches to learning design. It introduces Biggs’ theory of constructive alignment, and Bloom’s taxonomy both of which have led to the outcomes based approaches which dominate teaching and learning practice within higher education, and invites participants to reflect critically on the benefits and challenges offered by this approach. This unit also explains the process and procedures of module and course approval at Warwick.
  • Assessment and feedback for learning: explores all aspects of assessment and feedback within higher education.
  • Introducing research supervision: outlines the role and responsibilities of research supervisors at Warwick, and begins to explore good practice and pedagogic approaches to research supervision.
  • Technology enhanced learning: enables participants to explore the role of technology in HE teaching and learning, both within and beyond the classroom.
  • Reviewing and evaluating your practice: explores another aspect of evidence-based practice, inviting participants to consider the evidence generated by the processes of review and evaluation of teaching practice.

It introduces different methods and approaches to gathering feedback, from students, from peers and from one’s own experience via reflection and reflective practice. There is also opportunity to debate what constitutes teacher excellence, and how HE might find appropriate metrics to evaluate learning and teaching.

Critical reflection on your teaching practice is the core of the programme, and forms the basis for all the work you will do to document that you meet the requirement for Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy.

The programme is delivered via blended learning. It incorporates:

  • face-to-face workshops with supporting online resources – which includes a two-day residential event;
  • flipped learning sessions: pre-session work to be completed online followed by face-to-face collaborative group work;
  • online learning units.

In addition to these compulsory elements there are also opportunities to meet informally, both in online forums and in face-to-face sessions.

Participants are expected to complete the programme within 12 months.

If on discussion with your mentor it is felt that your role does not offer substantial engagement with all Areas of Activity, it is possible to ‘pause’ your registration in order to gain sufficient experience to meet the requirements for Fellowship.

Please note: if you are on leave for an extended period of time (i.e. research leave, maternity leave, etc.) you are advised to apply for temporary withdrawal. For further guidance please email us at

As you progress through the programme you will complete short assessed activities relating each main unit of study. In each you will need to demonstrate your commitment to a scholarly and evidence-informed approach to your learning and teaching practice, incorporating outputs from research, scholarship and your own continuing professional development. Many of these activities require you not only to provide evidence of good practice, for example offering a completed module approval form, but crucially engage you in critical reflection, e.g. offering a commentary on how you have designed your module.

You will compile these activities within an ePortfolio, along with the documentation from the 4 teaching observations, and any evidence which demonstrates your continued professional development. Within 12 months of starting the programme you will submit your ePortfolio for consideration by two internal reviewers. All reviewers will be Fellows or Senior Fellows of the Higher Education Academy.

Should your ePortfolio not meet the requirements for Fellowship you will be offered an opportunity to revise and resubmit your work. There is no time limit around resubmission, so if you are unable to evidence successful engagement across all five Areas of Activity you have time to develop weaker or missing areas of practice.