HEA Fellowship programme

  • The Pathway Programme offers a supported CPD route to achieve the award of either Senior Fellow or Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

    Why should I be interested in these awards?

    Achieving Senior Fellow and Principal Fellow status is formal recognition of your achievements in teaching and in enhancing the student learning experience, combined with scholarship, professional development and academic leadership. The awards are based on merit, not competition, but please note that there is no financial reward attached. These awards provide evidence that can support promotion applications, for example to the post of Principal Lecturer (Student Experience) or Professorships.

    What do the awards recognise?

    The two awards form part of the UK Professional Standards Framework for teaching and supporting learning. The awards differ in nature from each other and offer progression from the status of Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, which is normally achieved upon completion of the Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching in Higher Education:

    Senior Fellow Recognises sustained effectiveness and academic leadership in teaching and enhancing the student learning experience, combined with scholarship, research and/or other professional activities. 
    Principal Fellow If in institutional, national and/or international settings you can demonstrate: a sustained and effective record of impact at strategic level; a wider commitment to academic practice and strategic leadership in teaching and enhancing the student learning experience. 
  • In order to be accepted onto the pathway programme your initial audit needs to show:

    • significant experience of leading colleagues in teaching or learning support
    • evidence of engaging in recent professional development
    • demonstration of scholarship in relation to their learning and teaching practices
    • evidence of adapting practices to meet the changing requirements of learners
    • awareness of the implications of the changing context of higher education, specifically in relation to their own disciplinary teaching or specialism in learning support
    • willingness to connect with and learn from colleagues both within and external to the University
    • feasibility of a proposed action plan and timeline

    If you meet the criteria for joining the programme, you will receive feedback from the programme co-ordinator on your proposed action plan, with suggestions of further development, such as readings, visits or exchanges, research, seminars and web resources that may assist you towards a successful claim.

    A suitable colleague is identified to act as a coach for a fixed period to facilitate you in developing your claim. You may be asked to act as a peer coach for others on the programme. Where requested an action learning set is formed with other pathway participants. You will have access to a private learning space in Brookes Virtual where you are able to construct your claim, get feedback from your peer coach, and raise queries with others on the pathway programme.

    The assessment process for the pathway is one of peer review of claims. For each submission, there will be at least two reviewers who will read and comment. One reviewer will be your peer coach, the other will be an experienced colleague who is less closely associated with your work. Once the coach and reviewer have agreed with you that the standard has been met, the claim is submitted to the programme co-ordinator who will ratify the claim and recommend you to a Fellowships Panel for the award.

    Let us know by completing the Expression of interest PSF pathway programme and signing up for the next launch event.

    Those who come into the pathway are required initially to submit an action plan and timescale for achieving the standard, then follow the sequence of activities below:

    PSF pathway image
    • "Writing the case studies for the FHEA submission was a really interesting and valuable process. Summarising my teaching experience, and evaluating how my teaching methods have been informed by theory and practice sharing, has given me more confidence in my teaching and has allowed me to think about how I can develop as an educator." Angela Hatherell
    • "There's seldom time to reflect deeply on our teaching practice - but this scheme offers an opportunity to do just that. I particularly enjoyed connecting with colleagues who teach in different faculties across the University, and found the application process flexible and straightforward. Particular thanks to OCSLD for efficient, timely and tailored support." Dr Katharine Craik
    • “The process was really worthwhile and I valued the opportunity to reflect on my work within the University and with sector bodies, and how this has been informed by my own skills and experience gained over 20 years in higher education. The conversations with my peer partner were particularly useful.” Professor Sean Wellington