Academic Practice

The Academic Practice team support a range of programmes and schemes to support staff who wish to develop their practice in teaching and supporting student learning. These include:

York Professional and Academic Development Scheme (YPAD)

The YPAD scheme offers you the opportunity to develop your practice in learning and teaching through a process of peer support, and to secure professional recognition for your experience and expertise. The scheme is work-based and flexible, tailored to individual roles and is available to all staff at any stage of their career. Successful engagement with the scheme will lead to the award of whichever catagory of Higher Education Academy (HEA) Fellowship is most appropriate to your role and level of responsibility. 

The Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP)

This is a two-year part-time programme developed primarily for early career lecturers with significant responsibility for learning and teaching. It leads to the award of HEA Fellow and a postgraduate certificate. 

Teaching and Supporting Learning in Higher Education (TSLHE)

Developed for staff who have specific teaching responsibilities, such as researchers or staff who support students learning/teaching development, this is a one-year part-time course. It leads to HEA Associate Fellow recognition and secures 20-credits at postgraduate level. 

Programme Leaders Course 

This course, delivered over an academic year, has been developed to support staff who have programme leadership responsibiltities. The content of the course is framed by the principles of The York Pedagogy and focuses upon evidence-based approaches to curriculum design, learning organisation and providing support for developing the skills and approaches that will enable effective leadership and management within a learning and teaching context. 

The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Network (SoTL)

Organised on the model of a “journal club,” this network is for colleagues who are interested in engaging with key and emerging evidence-based and philosophically influential pedagogical literature. 

The network provides an opportunity for individuals to become familiar with and critique research in learning and teaching, whether based in disciplinary practice or addressing wider issues in higher education.

It also serves as a supportive peer environment to provide resources for staff who wish to develop their own scholarship and research in higher education learning and teaching practice.  

If you are interested in any of these schemes or programmes, please email academic-practice@york.ac.uk


York Professional and Academic Development Scheme (YPAD)

The YPAD scheme offers you the opportunity to develop your practice in learning and teaching through a process of peer support

The scheme  is designed to be inclusive of all staff groups who teach or support student learning (including PGWTs, research staff with teaching responsibilities, associate staff and learning and teaching support staff) and caters for all levels of experience: from individuals who are new to teaching in higher education to senior staff with institutional leadership roles in learning and teaching. It is based upon the University’s Peer Support for Teaching policy, and will involve participants working to develop their practice in groups supported and facilitated by an experienced colleague. 

YPAD is accredited by the Higher Education Academy.  This means individuals who successfully engage with the scheme will secure professional recognition through the award of a Higher Education Academy Fellowship appropriate to their role and their level of responsibility for teaching and supporting learning. 

The YPAD launch takes place on Friday 16 October 2015, 12.30-2.00pm at The Lakehouse, Ron Cooke Hub (Heslington East).  Please let us know if you wish to attend by emailing academic-practice@york.ac.uk to reserve a place.

How It Works 

Staff registered to YPAD will be organised into Action Learning Groups of professional peers, based on the HEA fellowship category being sought, and facilitated by an HEA-accredited member of staff. The groups meet three times over the course of the year to provide support for each other in developing their teaching and learning practice.

At the end of the year, participants submit a composite assessment, comprising a reflection on practice, a report on the development undertaken through the Action Learning Group, and identification of future development priorities.

This process applies to participants seeking recognition as an Associate Fellow, Fellow, or Senior Fellow. Applicants for the award of Principal Fellow will receive one-to-one support from an appropriate colleague.

Registration Process

To register for YPAD, please identify the category of Fellowship you wish to secure and complete the form below. The categories are: Associate Fellow, Fellow, Senior Fellow or Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA). These categories are accredited against the UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF) Descriptors 1, 2, 3 and 4 respectively. 

For those interested in joining the scheme to begin in November 2015 with the aim of submitting in Summer 2016, the first deadline to register is Friday 6 November 2015.

For those who would prefer to join the scheme in Spring 2016 with the aim of submitting in Spring 2017, the first deadline to register is Thursday 24 March 2016.

Applications will be considered after these deadlines on a first-come first-serve basis if places are still available.

Completed forms should be sent to academic-practice@york.ac.uk or by post to

Academic Practice, Academic Support Office, Room HG08, Heslington Hall

YPAD Application Form (MS Word  , 50kb)


Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP)

PGCAP is a 60 credit Masters-level programme designed to both support and enhance the engagement of University of York staff with their academic responsibilities

PGCAP is primarily aimed at new academic staff who have less than three years full-time teaching experience, but the programme is also suitable for university staff who are not appointed on an academic contract but do have teaching responsibilities.

Each module involves the integration of learning in multi-disciplinary and interactive workshops with reflection upon the experience of work-based practice. Academic supervisory support is provided to all participants throughout.

PGCAP is intended to be completed part-time over two years. In addition to the award of Masters-level certificate qualification, completion of the programme also entitles participants to register as Fellows of the Higher Education Academy.

PGCAP application form (MS Word  , 60kb)

PGCAP Handbook 2014-15


Teaching and Supporting Learning in Higher Education (TSLHE)

TSLHE is a 20 credit Masters-level module designed to support University of York staff to effectively teach and support learning  

TSLHE has been developed particularly for staff who have specific teaching responsibilities, such as researchers or staff who support student learning and teaching development.

Delivered in conjunction with the PGCAP programme, the module involves the integration of learning in multi-disciplinary and interactive workshops with reflection upon the experience of work-based practice. Academic supervisory support is provided to all participants throughout.

TSLHE is intended to be completed part-time over one year. In addition to the award of Masters-level credit, TSLHE is accredited by the Higher Education Academy.  This means individuals who successfully complete the programme will secure professional recognition as an Associate Fellow of the HEA

Application Process

You will  need to submit an application using the form below.  Allocation is based upon availability of places, reason for applying and whether the range and scope of your teaching / student support related activity will realistically enable you to complete the programme. Relevant areas of activity for teaching and supporting learning are identified on the application form.

Application forms can be submitted anytime, but a first deadline to start TSLHE in 2015/16 was Friday 17 July 2015.  Applications will be considered at this point and places allocated as appropriate.  If places remain available after this, they will be allocated on a first come first serve basis as eligible application forms come in.

Completed forms should be sent to academic-practice@york.ac.uk or by post to

Academic Practice, Academic Support Office, Room HG08, Heslington Hall

TSLHE application form (MS Word  , 50kb) 

Programme Leaders Course

The Programme Leaders Course has been designed to support staff engaged in learning and teaching leadership roles in departments.

The course focuses on curriculum design and organisation at programme level, on learning and teaching approaches for which there is evidence of learning gain, and on developing leadership and management skills.  It is intended to equip leaders with the evidence-based pedagogical knowledge and insight to drive forward inspiring and sustainable programme development, aligned to, and supporting the implementation of, the aims and principles of the York Pedagogy.

The course runs over one-year, part-time. The majority of work for the course will be based on programme development initiatives that staff are already currently engaged in, supported by four delivered sessions over 3.5 days between the Autumn and Summer term.

The Programme Leaders Course does not carry academic credit, although participation can be used by individuals seeking Higher Education Academy Senior Fellowship through the York Professional and Academic Development scheme.  

Further details of the course will be posted here as they become available. 

For further information please contact academic-practice@york.ac.uk