Professional Development

Small group of adult learners

Below you will find details on supported learning and development available to those who are new to teaching and/or new to the University (including postgraduates who teach). You will also find information on the probationary requirements for new academic staff. 

For more information on the PGCertTLHE please email:

For more information on the Sheffield Teaching Assistant programme, please email


The Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching for Learning in Higher Education focusses on the professional development of new and probationary staff who teach.

The three-module programme provides a structured learning experience that can contribute to participants meeting their probationary requirement by achieving Fellowship or Senior Fellowship, depending on prior experience, of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA/SFHEA) via the Personal Pathway of the Learning and Teaching Professional Recognition Scheme.

Those who are early in their teaching career, are on probation, and/or would prefer a supported route to meeting their requirements for learning and teaching are strongly advised to complete the first two modules: Students and the Learning Environment (EDU6147) and Curriculum and Programme Development (EDU6148). These modules introduce participants incrementally to learning and teaching in their discipline areas, support the development of their teaching skills, and enable them to explore curriculum and programme development, supporting them to making an application for recognition. Participants would be expected to complete their probationary requirement for learning and teaching (FHEA) within an 18-24 month period, leaving their final probationary year to focus on other aspects of probation if required before proceeding to the final module.

Those with an appropriate level of knowledge and experience may be eligible to seek exemption from the first module through Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) to gain direct entry into EDU6148.  Colleagues who have extensive experience and can evidence in-depth engagement in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning may be able to apply for exemption from EDU6147 and EDU6148 to gain entry directly into the final module, EDU6149.  To find out more about applying for partial exemption click here.

The final module, Engaging with Learning and Teaching Scholarship (EDU6149), leading to the award of the Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching for Learning in Higher Education, could either be completed immediately after the second module, or the participant could use any remaining leave of absence (up to two years are permitted in University Regulations) to complete the qualification at a later date once they have satisfied their probationary requirements. The final module enables the participant to focus on an area of learning and teaching of interest to their department, and includes dissemination to a wider audience.

Assessment for the first two modules focuses on the development of good practice whilst contributing to the evidence required to achieve professional recognition through the Personal Pathway.

To apply for admission to the Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching for Learning in Higher Education, please complete and return the application form (in the downloads box).

Workshop Week dates 2019-20 (please note, you only need to attend one workshop block for each module, but attendance at all sessions within the week is mandatory):

Module Dates
EDU6147 Students and the Learning Environment

Monday 16th - Friday 20th September 2019, 12.30-4.30pm daily

April 2020 

EDU6148 Curriculum and Programme Development

Monday 9 to Wednesday 11 September 2019, 12-4.30pm

Monday 13 January to Wednesday 16 January 2020, 12.30 - 4.30pm

EDU6149 Engaging with Learning and Teaching Scholarship

September 2019

February 2020

For all enquiries, please email

External Examiner's Report - September 2018 Board of Examiners

The External Examiner's Report is now available here.  A detailed response will be presented to the External Examiner at the next Exam Board.

Sheffield Teaching Assistant Workshops

The Sheffield Teaching Assistant (STA) workshops offer initial professional development designed for anyone who has, or is likely to have, teaching responsibility during their time at the University of Sheffield. No previous experience of teaching is required. Half day (3 hour) workshops provide an introduction to eight areas of teaching provision. Details of the workshops are provided on the leaflet which is available in the downloads box.

The Sheffield Teaching Assistant workshops are non-credit bearing and there is no assessment. Participants can obtain a record of attendance from the Learning Management System (LMS) to add to their CPD records. Participation contributes to proof of engagement with professional development for the Doctoral Development Programme.

Attendance at certain STA workshops contributes to the Learning and Teaching Professional Recognition Scheme Foundation Pathway which is a structured, non-credit-bearing route to Associate Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (AFHEA). Further details of Foundation Pathway requirements will be provided at STA workshops and can also be found here.

The next delivery of the workshops will run from 31 January to 15 February 2019 - places are now available to book on LMS

If you require further information please contact

Information for academic probationers

From 1 September 2014 all University of Sheffield staff on academic probation are required to gain Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) as a condition of their probation.

We offer a route to achieving FHEA through the University of Sheffield’s Learning and Teaching Professional Recognition Scheme (LTPRS) which is accredited by the Higher Education Academy. The Personal Pathway is self-directed and may be appropriate for those with prior teaching experience. Those who are new to teaching or who would prefer a supported route to achieve the learning and teaching element of probation should consider completing the first two modules of the Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching for Learning in Higher Education (see above), which are designed to support an application for FHEA status.

Academic probationers must commit to undertaking one these routes within three months of taking up their position at the University. Probationers will make the decision about which route to take in consultation with their Head of Department (or nominee) by completing FORM LTPROB. The completed form should be forwarded to LeTs who will notify HR of the decision. It is the probationer’s responsibility to register for their chosen route and successfully complete it before the end of their probationary period.

Any probationer who is already a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) can apply to be exempt from the probationary requirement for learning & teaching by completing and emailing FORM EXFHEA with an electronic copy of their certificate from the HEA to The documents will be signed off by a member of the Professional Development Team for Learning and Teaching (in LeTS) and HR will be informed of the exemption.

Anyone wishing to fulfil the learning and teaching component of academic probation with a PGCert that is not HEA accredited will need to apply for professional recognition to FHEA/SFHEA via the Personal Pathway of LTPRS.

Choosing the appropriate route

Probationers will need to carefully consider which route is appropriate for them. This will depend on their level, depth and breadth of previous teaching experience, working circumstances and personal preferences for professional development in learning and teaching.

Members of the Professional Development Team in Learning and Teaching can offer advice about the routes through consultation events however the decision about which route to take rests solely with the probationer and the Head of Department (or nominee).

For staff more experienced in their roles

MEd in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (MTLHE)

The MEd in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (MTLHE) programme is suitable for anyone interested in developing their practices in teaching and supporting learning. It offers an opportunity to reflect on learning and teaching practices with colleagues from across the university; a chance to think deeply about the philosophy and values underpinning teaching; a stimulus to introduce innovations; and support for pedagogical research.

The MTLHE maps closely onto the UK Professional Standards Framework for teaching supported by the Higher Education Academy, and can support and give weight to applications to Senior Fellowship through LTPRS. It also addresses the priority given to teaching quality through mechanisms such as the Teaching Excellence Framework, and supports practitioners in developing their own work, and leading change amongst their colleagues. If you have completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching (including CiLT or the PGCertTLHE), a PGCE, or other similar qualifications, credits may be transferred into the MTLHE.

The programme is part-time, consisting of four modules and a dissertation. It is based on face-to-face sessions, between September and July, through which a community of practice and professional development is fostered within the group.

For further information about the programme, please visit the MTLHE webpages, or contact Tim Herrick, Programme Director.

Engaging with Elevate events and communities of practice are a way in which you can contribute to your own professional development, at any level.