Academic Professional Apprenticeship - Higher Education Practice - Postgraduate Certificate (APA)
- Mode of study
- Part time
- Start date
- September 2021
- Subject Area
- FEES (2021/22 academic year)
The Academic Professional Apprenticeship is a course specifically designed to support Keele University staff and clinical colleagues who support our students, to develop and explore their academic practice as an educator in UK Higher Education.
- Opportunities to engage in research and scholarship around teaching and learning in HE
- Dual focus on developing expertise in both subject/discipline teaching and research in Higher Education
- The programme is accredited by the Higher Education Academy and therefore students that successfully complete the teaching development modules are recognised through the award of Fellowship.
About the course
The Academic Professional Apprenticeship (APA) is offered to academic staff in relation to their development as a higher education practitioner delivering higher education teaching and undertaking research to support the development of knowledge within their discipline.
The programme is designed to enable all participants, their mentors, and other colleagues to become part of a community of practice exploring and contributing to the development of the two major areas of practice of academic professionals, teaching and research. Specifically, it supports participants to gain the knowledge, skills and behaviours to succeed as an academic professional.
The programme combines core practice in HE teaching and research with level 7 critical study and is benchmarked to sector wide practice. The PGDip has been accredited by AdvanceHE (previously Higher Education Academy) and is benchmarked to descriptor 2 of the UK Professional Standards Framework. The Academic Professional Apprenticeship standards can be viewed here.
The programme consits of four core modules. Upon completion of the four core modules, you will receive the PGDip and can choose whether to progress on to the capstone module and gain the full MA in Higher Education Practice. A further award of the programme is Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) upon completion of the first two core modules.
Teaching Reflectively in Higher Education, EDU 40128, Year One, 30 Credits
Delivered in Semester 1, Year 1
This module instils principles and techniques of reflective practice that will help successful graduates to become resourceful and critical developers of teaching and learning in higher education learning contexts. 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.
Design and Development in Higher Education, EDU 40129, Year, 30 Credits
Delivered in Semester 2, Year 1
This module helps teachers bring their teaching practice (skills, knowledge and values) up to descriptor 2 of the UK Professional Standards Framework and provides the opportunity to explore the process of designing, implementing and evaluating the introduction of a pedagogical approach in practice. They do this 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, exploring their own practice in relation to technology enhanced learning and the potential contribution technology can make to learning and teaching in HE.
Supporting Learning, Research and Scholarship with Technology, EDU-40134, Year Two, 30 credits
Delivered in Semester 1, Year 2
The aim of this module is to enable participants, as reflective Higher Education practitioners, to explore how technology can be used to enhance and develop their teaching, scholarship, and research practice.
Developing Innovation in Practice, EDU-40136, Year Two, 30 credits
Delivered in Semester 2, Year 2
In this module, participants are invited to critically reflect on their own practice and to identify opportunities to innovate for quality enhancement and inclusivity, and then to lead, design, implement and evaluate an innovation project. For those wishing to progress on to the third year, this module also acts as a bridge to the Action Research/Dissertation module.
Action Research Project, EDU-40017, 60 Credits
Delivered in Semester 1 & 2, Year 3
The action research module is the capstone of the degree that can be progressed onto after successful completion of the above modules. Students identify an area of practice and plan, undertake and submit a piece of action research demonstrating their development as reflective practitioners, curriculum developers, and pedagogical researchers.
How the course is taught
The programme core content is primarily delivered through face to face workshops, lasting half or full days, led by expert practitioners from Keele or the HE sector. Wherever practicable these workshops are scheduled for Wednesdays. Attendance is monitored and expected. Each workshop is supported by guided online learning. For some sessions, course tutors craft e-activities, often linked to key reading material. Students are also expected to undertake independent study and group work with peers on the course and in part, this activity should be directed towards completing assessments for the showcase portfolios required to demonstrate competence for the taught modules.
The programme is led and delivered by a core, multidisciplinary team of tutors with many years’ experience designing and delivering similar programmes. The team has complementary strengths including specialisms in teaching innovation, education for sustainable development, teaching with technology, research supervision, creative writing and critical pedagogy. All of the team are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy and active researchers. In addition to the core team, there are numerous expert contributors from Keele staff and externals with national and international expertise who contribute to the programme.
The Tripartite Review is a critical component of apprenticeships. It ensures a structured approach to progress monitoring for apprentices and maintains communication to ensure that any issues impinging on progress can be resolved.
These meetings are set up at the beginning of the student's enrolment on the programme. They take place between the student, mentor and tutor and are expected to be held 3-4 times per year during the four core modules. The 20% off the job document (which is supplied on enrolment and should be updated by the student each week they are registered to the course) is required to be brought to each of these meetings and stored on file.
How you'll be assessed
Each core module has an end of module submission point (January and June) in which the student is expected to submit an assessment. Formative feedback will be given throughout time on the programme for the individual assignments which complete these submissions. Upon completion of the four core modules, students receive the PGDip and can choose whether to progress onto the capstone module and gain the full MA in Higher Education Practice. A further award of the programme is Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) upon completion of the first two core modules.
At the end of studies, once confirmed for gateway, the endpoint assessment takes place with the support of an endpoint assessor. The endpoint assessment consists of three elements:
- Teaching route: observation of teaching, portfolio, professional discussion with external.
- Research route: presentation at conference, portfolio, professional discussion with external.
Proof of level 2 (or equilvalent) english and maths will need to be supplied during the application stage. Where this is a problem applicants are asked to contact us.
Participants need to have a teaching mentor (to be allocated by a line manager) and active support from their Head of School or line manager.
Participants must also be engaged in 125 hours of teaching related activity during the first year, of which 25 hours must be with students in the classroom and at least 10 hours spread through Semester 1 (delivery will consist principally of lectures, seminars and tutorials, but may also combine elements of on-line delivery. Teaching-related activity may include preparation, assessment, course materials development, attendance at team and programme meetings, course reviews, or any other activity relevant to teaching).
Lastly, most participants will be funded through the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) where eligibility is met. In the instances where participants do not meet the eligibility criteria set out by the ESFA (based on recent UK/EEA residency requirements), a near identical pathway is offered (funded by the University). Students will be informed of which pathway they are registered to when they are formally accepted onto the programme.
Fees and scholarships
Fees (2021/22 academic year)
Apart from additional costs for text books, inter-library loans and potential overdue library fines, we do not anticipate any additional costs for this postgraduate course.
Keele University is located on a beautiful campus and has all the facilities of a small town. Student accommodation, shops, restaurants and cafes are all within walking distance of the teaching buildings. This is a very cost effective way to live and to reduce your living costs.
Scholarships and Funding
The University is committed to rewarding excellence and potential. Each year we offer a range of prestigious scholarships;
UK/EU students - more information on scholarships and funding.
Frequently Asked Questions
I previously completed credits on the MA Learning and Teaching in Higher Education/MA Higher Education Practice and would now like to take further credits to build on my qualification - is this possible?
Yes, please contact us to further discuss this option.
Is it possible to Recognise Prior Learning (RPL) towards the Academic Professional Apprenticeship?
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), formerly known as Accreditation of Prior Learning, is the process by which applicants of all ages and backgrounds offset their experiences and achievements against elements of a programme. It is a mechanism to enable the succesful completion of University qualifications and follows the principle that students should not duplicate previous learning. The Academic Professional Apprenticeship will consider RPL applications, and further guidance can be accessed via the University RPL webpages.
Do I have to attend every session?Yes. Funding requirements state that students are required to attend all sessions. Where absence is more than four consecutive weeks, this is classed as a break in learing, and will be shared with Keele Human Resources (as your employer) and also the Apprenticeship Team.
What are the benefits to me in completing an Academic Professional Apprenticeship?
The apprenticeship aims to develop the skills, knowledge and behaviours that will equip you to fully deliver higher education teaching and undertake research to support the development and dissemination of knowledge in a subject/discipline, including opportunities to engage in research and scholarship around teaching and learning in HE.
The allocation of protected time for you will help to facilitate high levels of meaningful engagement in early CPD activity. The apprenticeship offers oppotunities for a wide array of inputs through both on the job and off the job training.
The apprenticeship standards explains that apprentices will be co-developed through their job role and an associated skills development programme. Apprentice skills are honed through 80% on the job training and 20% off the job training through the APA.