Department for Curriculum and Quality Enhancement

Academic Professional Apprenticeship (APA)

The Academic Professional Apprenticeship (APA) provides a framework for early career teachers, aiming to support you in the development of your academic knowledge, skills, values and behaviours, enabling you to successfully deliver contemporary pedagogic practice in higher education and further enhance your role within the University. Completion of this course will provide you with three formally recognised qualifications:

  • Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education
  • Certificate of Academic Professional Apprenticeship Completion
  • Higher Education Academy Fellowship

The Academic Professional Apprenticeship has a strong commitment to working collaboratively, balanced by flexible and personally tailored programme of learning, of which work-based learning forms an integral part. Your departmental contribution, of a commitment to ethically placed professional practice and development, will enable you to effectively contribute to the organisational success of the university, complementing the advancement of your learning and teaching expertise and expanding your individual academic citizenship.   


The Academic Professional Apprenticeship is fully funded for teaching staff through the Apprenticeship Levy (subject to eligibility criteria).  Please complete an APA Registration Form to register on the course.

Course eligibility and entry points

There are two routes to accessing this apprenticeship:

Teaching staff new to a teaching role within the University; early career teachers who are in their first two years of teaching have a contractual expectation to gain HEA Fellowship. Staff who have not yet commenced their application for Fellowship status with the Higher Education Academy should enrol on this course. Entry points for this route occur in October and January each year.

Existing staff who require formal teaching qualification & recognition; staff who have been involved in teaching, but have not yet achieved Fellowship Status with the Higher Education Academy, and would like the opportunity to further expand their knowledge and expertise by undertaking the apprenticeship. The entry point for this route is in January each year.

Course overview

The course duration is 18-24 months and is delivered via blended learning, providing you with the flexibility to manage your developmental and departmental activities in a personally tailored way. The course consists of four key phases:

Academic toolkit (core: new to teaching staff, option: existing teaching staff)

The academic toolkit delivery will introduce you to a range of activities designed to help support their role, preparing you for the commencement of the Postgraduate Certificate. The toolkit will explore the role of well-being in higher education alongside signposting to core training and time-management activities, to assist you with your studies.

Academic & Professional Development (core)

This element has a non-standard delivery approach, which extends into a flexible summer block, providing you with time to develop a small-scale, evidence based, curriculum enhancement project.

Research Informed Teaching (core)

Culminates in the preparation of an article suitable for publication, in line with author guidance, in a selected journal.

Apprenticeship End Point Assessment (core)

Provides you with an opportunity to demonstrate your teaching expertise, via a variety of methods, and concludes with your formal professional recognition.  

Protected time is provided for your studies via 20% Off the Job Training allowance, which is reflected in your individual Workload Planning Allowance.

Further details

For further information regarding this apprenticeship please see the APA Departmental Course Handbook (pdf download)

For applications please complete the APA Registration Form