Academic Professional

Keele University is delighted to offer the Academic Professional Apprenticeship (APA) designed to support and develop educators in UK Higher Education. 

Duration: 12-15 months

Qualification: Academic Professional Apprenticeship & Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education Practice (60 credits). Eligible participants are also awarded a Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy.

Contact details:

Course overview

The Academic Professional Apprenticeship is specifically designed to support participants to develop and explore their academic practice as an educator in UK Higher Education.

The Academic Professional Apprenticeship is aimed at individuals teaching and supporting learners in Higher Education.

The apprenticeship enables participants to become part of a community of practice, whilst nurturing the knowledge, skills and behaviours required to succeed as an Academic Professional.

In accordance with the requirements of the apprenticeship standards, at least 20% of an apprentices time should be allocated for off the job learning as part of this course.

The programme is delivered through two 30 credit Postgraduate modules, followed by a bespoke training period and End Point Assessment (EPA). Live sessions are usually scheduled on Wednesday afternoons. Each session is supported by guided online learning, set readings and syndicate group tasks.

1. Teaching Reflectively in Higher Education, EDU-40128, 30 Credits (Month 1-5)

This module instils principles and techniques of reflective practice, that will help individuals to become resourceful and critical developers of teaching and learning in a Higher Education context. The module will develop a critical rationale for practice that is grounded in theoretically informed understanding, experience gained from reflection on critical incidents, professional values and policy contexts.

2. Design and Development in Higher Education, EDU-40129, 30 Credits (Month 6-9)

This module helps teachers bring their teaching practice (skills, knowledge and values) up to descriptor 2 of the UK Professional Standards Framework. The learning provides the opportunity to explore the process of designing, implementing and evaluating the introduction of a pedagogical approach in practice. This is achieved by developing a critical rationale for practice in the context of both general and discipline-specific educational theory, communities of practice, a range of policy contexts and exploring the apprentices practice in relation to technology enhanced learning. The module explores the potential contribution technology can make to learning and teaching in Higher Education.

3. Bespoke Training (Month 10-12)

An individualised training plan is agreed and apprentices are supported to develop new knowledge and skills in named areas.

4. End Point Assessment (EPA) (Month 12-15)

To complete the requirements of the apprenticeship, participants are also required to complete a nationally agreed End Point Assessment (EPA).

This includes:

  • 7,500 word written submission
  • One hour academic professional practice assessment (observations of teaching)
  • One hour professional conversation
  • An independent assessor external to Keele conducts the assessments


  • Participants must be engaged in 125 hours of teaching related activity, of which 25 hours must be with students in the classroom and at least 10 hours throughout semester one. Teaching related activity in this context may include preparation, assessment, course materials development, attendance at team and programme meetings, course reviews, or any other activity relevant to teaching. Classroom related activity will need to consist principally of lectures, seminars and tutorials, but may also combine elements of online delivery.
  • Typically hold a first degree.
  • We usually require that Maths and English Grade C or equivalent, is attained by the start of the apprenticeship. Evidence of this will be required at registration.

Find out more about all the support and services available to all those studying at Keele here, including accessing Student Serviceshealth and wellbeing support, and making the most of your academic life

Why choose Keele University for Apprenticehips

We are proud that our apprenticeship approach has been praised by Ofsted, read more about our success here.

Through the apprenticeship route, learners will receive support from their employer and from the university to successfully complete their studies. In addition to a university mentor, they will have wider support from programme teaching staff and access to the university facilities.

For employers, our apprenticeships team will provide dedicated support with all aspects of apprenticeships. You will also be regularly engaged with our academic team through tripartite review meetings.