About the Academic Professional Programme

The Academic Professional Programme aims to provide an introduction to the principles of academic practice and its political and social contexts. It then enables participants to find creative and research-informed ways of enhancing their academic practice. It is usual for participants to have some experience of academic practice prior to beginning the programme, so the programme aims to build on existing knowledge, skills, values and behaviours, in order to support participants in becoming effective academic professionals within the academic culture of their discipline, the University, and in the national and international higher education contexts.

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

The qualifications and accreditations obtained through successful completion of the programme are:

  • A Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PCAP, 60 credits at NQF level 7)
  • Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (HEA, now part of Advance HE)
  • Fellowship of ASPIRE (Accrediting Staff Professionalism in Research-Led Education), the University’s HEA-accredited Framework
  • A Certificate from the Institute of Apprenticeships (Standard pathway only) or a Certificate from the University of Exeter (Non-standard pathway only).

Please see the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section for further information about the programme. 

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. Please refer to the FAQ on programme eligibility for further information about which version of the programme might be most suitable for you.

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”.

Do I need to apply for Fellowship through ASPIRE?

The Academic Professional Programme is part of Exeter's ASPIRE Framework. You will gain Fellowship of ASPIRE and the HEA (now Advance HE) upon successful completion of the programme. You will not, therefore, need to apply for Fellowship through the ASPIRE Professional Recognition Pathway (PRP) as well; the ASPIRE PRP is a different route to fellowship which you might choose in the future to make an application for Senior Fellowship.

ASPIRE Framework grid for APP