HEA Fellowship programme

  • What is a Fellowship?

    HEA Fellowships are a globally recognised commitment to professionalism in teaching and learning in higher education. A Fellowship is awarded if you have met the appropriate standards in teaching and supporting learning in higher education, aligned to the UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF). Higher Education Academy (HEA) is now part of Advance HE, although the official terminology still uses ‘Fellowship of the HEA’.

    Benefit of applying

    Fellowship brings you a range of benefits:

    • Consolidates personal development and evidence of professional practice in your higher education career;

    • Demonstrates commitment to teaching, learning, and the student experience, through engagement in a practical process that encourages research, reflection and development;

    • Provides a valuable measure of success that is increasingly recognised by UK international institutions as an important indicator that your professional practice is fully aligned with UKPSF practice

    • Highly sought by employers across the education sector as a condition of appointment and promotion;

    • Identifies your expertise with the entitlement to use post-nominal letters (AFHEA, FHEA, SFHEA, PFHEA).

    Gain Recognition

    The UKPSF provides a developmental model through four categories (Descriptors 1 - 4), reflecting those individuals who have a partial role in teaching / supporting learning through to senior professionals with strategic impact on teaching and learning in an organisational, national and/or international setting:

    • Descriptor 1 - Associate Fellow (AFHEA)
    • Descriptor 2 - Fellow (FHEA)
    • Descriptor 3 - Senior Fellow (SFHEA)
    • Descriptor 4 - Principal Fellow (PFHEA)

    Fellowships are awarded on the basis of a successful and effective demonstration of the relevant UKPSF Descriptor.

  • Please contact Mary Kitchener, OCSLD, PSF Co-ordinator »
  • If you are new to teaching or supporting student learning and want to formalise your experience and to progress, a HEA Associate Fellowship will add value to your professional teaching experience.

    If you have a broad understanding of effective approaches to teaching and learning supporting higher education, HEA Fellowship will provide recognition of and value to your professional practice.
    If you have a sustained record of effectiveness in relation to higher education teaching and learning incorporating for example, the organisation, leadership and/or management of learning and teaching provision, HEA Senior Fellowship will provide recognition of and value to your professional practice.
    If you have a sustained record of effective strategic leadership in academic practice and academic development, and you are seeking recognition of your experience, becoming a Principal Fellow may be for you.
    • Completed the Fellowship Category Tool to identify the best Fellowship descriptor aligned to your achievements in higher education professional practice. The tool consists of a set of statements that are aligned to the UKPSF and are asked about the range of activities you undertake. The process takes 10 to 20 minutes and provides an individually tailored report showing which category your practice is most closely aligned to.  The report will be sent to you via email.  

    • Share your results with the PSF Pathway Coordinator

    • For January 2020 applications, the deadline for expression of interest is Thursday 31 October 2019 at 17.00. 

    • For June 2020 applications, the deadline for expression of interest is Friday 28 February 2020 at 17.00.

    • You will be allocated a mentor as well as access to our Moodle Site where you can download a copy of the application template and handbook. 

    • You will also have access to a Google Folder to submit your completed claim.  

    • Complete your template and submit it by the deadlines of either the last working day in June or January.  

    • You will be notified of the outcome within 12 weeks of submission.  

    • If you are a Brookes member of staff, there should not be any charge for support and your application through our CPD route here.  If you submit a direct application to Advance HE, you may be liable for a fee. If you are a member of staff with one of our collaborative partners, please see details below. 


    If you are employed by one of our collaborative partners, please check whether your institution is a subscriber to Advance HE  as there is a possibility that HEA application fees may be required. If your institution is an Advance HE Teaching and Learning strand member, including Access Partner membership, you will be awarded HEA fellowship without an additional fee due. If the collaborative partner institution is not a member, an additional charge will be due (50% of the current direct application fee). Advance HE holds a full record of current subscribing institutions on their website and if you still have any queries about whether your institution is a subscriber, please contact fellowship@heacademy.ac.uk.

    The Accredited Programme Route

    Brookes delivers accredited programmes where HEA Fellowship can be gained by at the same time as your teacher education. 

    Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching in Higher Education (PCTHE) 

    The PCTHE is the taught programme which awards colleagues both academic credit and (Associate) Fellowship of the HEA. It is mostly taken by new lecturers, associate lecturers, PhD students, and learning support staff such as librarians and learning technologists. 

    20 credit module, Learning, and Teaching in HE (LTHE), also called the Associate Teachers course, leads to Associate Fellowship of the HEA, and is a pre/co-requisite for:

    40 credit module, Inquiry and Reflection in HE (IRHE), also known as ‘the full PCTHE’, leads to Fellowship of the HEA. 

    • "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