Accessibility statement

York Learning and Teaching Award (YLTA) 

YLTA is a taught-course designed to support York-based Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) reflect on and develop your practice. It is also intended to help you plan for future employment. For this reason, YLTA challenges participants to look beyond the constraints of your current role as a GTA in order to understand the full range of responsibilities and expectations for academics who teach and support student learning across the UK Higher Education sector.

The course integrates online self-study materials with campus based workshops, peer-support systems, and supervisory support by an experienced academic. The course integrates reflection on your own experience of teaching as a GTA with relevant principles, policies, and pedagogical research.  The aim is to equip you to autonomously address teaching issues and enhancements relevant to your role proactively and constructively. Central to this objective is an emphasis on developing an inter-disciplinary, collaborative, and scholarly approach to teaching.

YLTA is designed to support continuous learning across the nine months through your ongoing development of a summatively assessed Portfolio grounded in your teaching practice as a GTA. As a 20-credit module, your commitments to the course will equate to approximately 200 hours of work additional to your PhD.

In addition to the award of 20 Masters-level credits, YLTA is accredited by Advance HE to award Associate Fellow of the HEA (AFHEA) to those who successfully complete the course.

For experienced GTAs who would prefer not to undertake a taught course to achieve AFHEA, you might be interested in our York Professional and Academic Development (YPAD) scheme instead.

Application process

Application is via submission of a form that should include an applicant statement on your approach to teaching and learning. All applicants who meet the essential criteria are eligible for a place on the course.

The deadline for applications for 2021/22 entry is 6 May 2021.

Guidance on Writing your Applicant Statement

Your application statement should be 500 words or under and reflect on one or more of the following questions:
• What has motivated you to develop your teaching through undertaking YLTA?
• What are your beliefs and/or values about teaching and learning?
• How has your experiences as a learner informed your understanding (and/or experience as a GTA if applicable) of effective or ineffective teaching?

Limited Places on YLTA

We aim to accept all eligible applicants who meet the essential criteria onto the course. However, YLTA is funded by the University and there is a cap on the number of places we can offer. If the volume of applications exceed available spaces then desirable criteria may be applied.

Candidates who meet the essential criteria but not the desirable criteria will be offered a place on a waiting list in the event that those holding conditional offers withdraw their application.

For more detailed information on the course and how to apply please see Section 2.1 on the GTA Community site on the VLE

Application Criteria

Essential Criteria

In order to be eligible for YLTA, you need to meet all of the following criteria. If you have any questions about your eligibility to apply there is further information on the GTA Community site, with an option to attend an appplication support webinar on the 28 April 2021. You can also discuss your application with your departmental GTA Coordinator or email

Applicants must:

  1. be expecting to work as a tutor, demonstrator, or in an eqivalent paid or voluntary role supporting student learning at York for the duration of YLTA that involves at least two of the following areas of practice:
    • Direct involvement in the teaching of students (face-to-face or online)
    • Designing or adapting teaching sessions or modules
    • Marking assessments, either formally or informally, and giving feedback to students
    • Contributing to wider support for student learning in a department, College, either through mentoring other or through supporting (online or on campus) learning environments.  
  2. be registered on your PhD programme at York for the duration of YLTA
  3. be able to complete YLTA before the end of your main period of registration (excluding your continuation/ “write-up” year).
  4. have your supervisor’s confirmed support to take time away from your PhD to do the course (200 hours)
  5. have completed Introduction to Learning and Teaching prior to the start of YLTA (or can confirm authorised exemption)
  6. be able to reflect on your teaching in writing with a view to enhancing your students’ learning experience and your own professional practice.

Desirable Criteria

Should applications exceed the number of funded places on the course then the following criteria may be applied.

Preference may be given to candidates who:

  1. have prior experience supporting student learning in Higher Education.
  2. have prior experience teaching, mentoring, supervising, and/or supporting learners at any educational stage or in any sector.
  3. can demonstrate a capacity to evaluate and address students’ needs and concerns.
  4. are outward-looking and interested in developing a collaborative and scholarly approach to teaching.

Criterion 3 and 4 will be evaluated using your applicant statement. 

Apply for YLTA 2021/22 

Apply now

Applications for 2021/22 entry are now open with a closing date of 6 May 2021


For more information on YLTA, contact