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Common Awards Staff: Staff Development

These webpages are for Theological Education Institution (TEI) Staff within Durham's Common Awards Partnership. Durham Staff/Students interested in development opportunities in teaching should contact the Durham Centre for Academic Development for more information.

University Teaching: Core Skills

This programme provides participants with the opportunity to work through interactive online content in their own time, to discuss their learning with colleagues across the UK and with facilitators from Durham University’s Centre for Academic Development.

Successful completion of the Account of Professional Practice confers Associate Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (now known as AdvanceHE) and the post-nominal letters AFHEA. For more information see the Advance HE Fellowship page. Following completion of this programme other programmes may be available; please contact the Common Awards Team for further information.

The programme launches in December each year with an introductory session. See our Common Awards Calendar and our Events page for this year’s specific registration deadline.

Following the initial introduction session, the remainder of the programme will be delivered online through a specially designed site in Durham’s online learning environment. Participants will be encouraged to build on their understanding of the content via online discussions with other Common Awards teaching staff, and through reflection on their own practice.


The programme is open to all part-time and full-time members of core staff or associate staff who teach on Common Awards programmes in TEIs. Participants should normally have undertaken a minimum of 12 hours teaching and/or supporting learning over the most recent academic year.

The programme will be delivered provided that there is a minimum of six participants and can normally accommodate a maximum number of 40 participants.

Course structure

University Teaching: Core Skills comprises six strands:

  • your role in university teaching and learning
  • planning and preparing learning activities
  • teaching and supporting learning
  • assessment and feedback
  • addressing barriers to student success
  • reviewing your teaching.

A discussion board will be associated with each strand to allow for interaction with colleagues and with the facilitators.

The course will also provide advice and resources on the successful completion of the Account of Professional Practice.

Course length and time commitment

The length of each strand is about two hours. Participants should also factor in time to write their Account of Professional Practice and gather supporting references, as well as participate in the online discussions. There are three submission opportunities per year, but we would encourage participants to aim for the July deadline.