About the Academic Professional Programme

The Academic Professional programme aims to enhance participants’ knowledge of UK higher education, and of working within a research-intensive university in particular; supporting the development of academic practitioners as accomplished educators, who create research-inspired, inquiry-led learning environments that will enable our graduates to thrive in an international workplace. The programme aims are directly aligned with the University’s strategic ambitions of being a global 100 research leader and of graduating students of distinction.

The Academic Professional Programme has been designed with two complementary frameworks in mind and is mapped against them: the UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF) and the Academic Professional (Level 7) Apprenticeship Standard and the End Point Assessment Plan for this Standard.

Successful completion of the programme leads to the award of a Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (60 credits at level 7), ASPIRE Fellowship, and Fellowship of the HEA, as well as a certificate from the Institute for Apprenticeships for those on the Standard Pathway (please see the FAQs for further information about Pathways).

Who are Academic Professionals?

Academic professionals work across both teaching and research to support the development of knowledge within their discipline; developing and sharing knowledge with students, peers and external stakeholders to support advancement of the discipline and the resolution of major challenges. Academic Professionals play an active role in supporting a range of people including students, funders, stakeholders and government to gain insight into their specialist discipline area. Academic Professionals engage in continuing professional development in both their discipline and their pedagogy and make use of appropriate technologies to support the acquisition of knowledge.

What is Academic Practice?

We have adopted the University of Warwick’s definition, which is that academic practice can be defined as “professional work which directly contributes to the generation and dissemination of knowledge. This includes teaching and learning, research, and supervising and managing research; and managing academic departments”.

Who is the Academic Professional Programme for?

The Academic Professional Programme is available to all staff at the University of Exeter for whom Academic Practice (teaching and/or research) is a key part of their role. For Lecturers on the Professional Development Programme, participation is mandatory. Please see the FAQ on eligibility for more information.