UCL Centre for the Advancement of Learning and Teaching

Your SLASH Team


Dr Nick Grindle

Senior Teaching Fellow

Email: n.grindle@ucl.ac.uk

Phone: 020 7679 8282

Ext: 48282

Helen Brookman

Dr Helen Brookman

Senior Teaching Fellow

Email: h.brookman@ucl.ac.uk

Phone: 020 7679 1667

Ext: 41667


Abbie King

Student Engagement and School Support Officer

Email: abbie.king@ucl.ac.uk

Phone: 020 7679 1904

Ext: 41904


This page is dedicated to discipline-specific information, news, resources, workshops, and articles for the departments aligned to SLASH.

PGTA Scheme 2013/14

These are the dates for introductory sessions for PGTAs new to teaching in the faculties of Social & Historical Sciences, and Arts & Humanities, in 2013-14. 

If a department would like to send their PGTAs to any of these sessions please let Abbie King (abbie.king@ucl.ac.uk) know. 

Rooms will be announced and further details given nearer to the start of the 2013-14 academic session.

Wednesday 18th September 2013 10am-1pm Foster Court 132
Wednesday 25th September 2013
10am-1pm Foster Court 132
Thursday 3rd October 2013
10am-1pm Malet Place Eng 1.20
Tuesday 15th October 2013
1pm-5pm Rockefeller G02
Thursday 24th October 2013
Chadwick G08
Wednesday 8th January 2014
Foster Court 132
Thursday 16th January 2014
Roberts 110

Staff Scheme 2013/14

Anyone teaching at UCL, or who supports learning, can work towards recognition as Associate Fellows, Fellows, or Senior Fellows of the Higher Education Academy. Recognition is significant as the qualification confirms that holders are experienced and knowledgeable about teaching and learning in higher education. 

Introduction to the Scheme

UCL offers 3 levels of recognition on behalf of the HEA. The descriptors are modelled on the UK Professional Standards Framework, which was developed in close collaboration with UK universities and is endorsed by sector bodies such as the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), Universities UK and the National Union of Students (NUS).

The staff who apply for D2 recognition are expected to provide evidence of engagement with the enhancement of student learning. They must be able to articulate a well-grounded set of professional values related to core knowledge, linked to all five areas of activity in the UKPSF (see p.15). Their engagement with student learning must be illustrated by examples. Applicants must be able to demonstrate their commitment to enhancing the student experience, always seeking to adapt to changes in HE in ways which support and enthuse students. They will have ascertained that their approaches to teaching help their students to learn.

Applicants for D2 recognition must be able to provide examples of how they have taken account of institutional strategies in their approaches, identified areas which are suitable for development and worked towards pedagogical innovation as outlined in the section on teaching above. D2 applicants must be able to provide evidence of their approach to teaching and its influence on learning. Examples of this could include an account of how teaching has been planned and carried out with illustrative material such as course handbooks, lesson plans or teaching and learning activities and/or assessment tasks. This will be sufficient at D2. Links to virtual learning environments could also be provided. Case studies for the UCL Teaching and Learning Portal or other published work would constitute high level evidence.

At D2 open references are required from two experienced colleagues who have knowledge of the work of applicants and can confirm that their reputation is corroborated.

Assessment of Portfolios

Assessment follows a peer review process. Two senior peers who are experienced  in teaching and supporting learning in higher education will review the portfolio. They will match the evidence in the portfolio to D2 of the UKPSF. The assessment process will be overseen by an external examiner known to the HEA for their work with the UKPSF.

Written feedback aligned to the assessment criteria (see below) will be provided to all applicants. Where more development of the text is required, the applicant will receive detailed feedback on how to redraft the portfolio. If necessary they will also be provided with suggestions as to how to extend their experience or widen their practice.

The specifications from the UKPSF inform the assessment criteria for the evaluation of your portfolio. A1-A5 refer to the Areas of Activity, K1-K6 refer to Core Knowledge, and V1-V4 refer to Professional Values.

You are required to provide evidence which demonstrates that you are able to:

- Incorporate subject and pedagogic research and/or scholarship within Areas of Activity A1-A5 as part of an integrated approach to academic practice

- Describe how you use effective approaches to teaching and supporting learning to contribute to high quality student learning when you:

  • A1 design and plan learning activities and/or programmes of study
  • A2 teach and/or support learning
  • A3 assess and give feedback to learners;
  • A4 develop effective learning environments and approaches to student support and guidance
  • A5 engage in continuing professional development in subjects/disciplines and their pedagogy, incorporating research, scholarship and the evaluation of professional practices
  • K1 draw on the subject material to devise (K2) appropriate methods for teaching and learning in the subject area and at the level of the academic programme
  • K3 explain how students learn, both generally and within their subject/disciplinary area(s)
  • K4 detail how you use and value appropriate learning technologies
  • K5 outline how you evaluate teaching effectiveness
  • K6 appreciate the implications of quality assurance and quality enhancement for academic and professional practice with a particular focus on teaching.

You will also be required to demonstrate that your professional values are characterised by:

  • V1 Respect for individual learners and diverse learning communities

You should also indicate how you endeavour to:

  • V2 Promote participation in higher education and equality of opportunity for learners
  • V3 Use evidence-informed approaches and the outcomes from research, scholarship and continuing professional development
  • V4 Acknowledge the wider context in which higher education operates recognising the implications for professional practice

Portfolio Requirements

Meeting UKPSF Descriptor 2

Your portfolio will be assessed against D2 as detailed above.

Portfolio overview

A portfolio is a collection of texts in any medium. Portfolios include an analysis and evaluation of content in relation to the assessment criteria. In other words, applicants reflect on their learning and professional development, referring to the material they have selected for inclusion.  

Referees (mentors)

Include, as an appendix, open references from two experienced colleagues who have knowledge of your work. The referees are required to verify, as far as they are able, the practice described and analysed in your Portfolio.

Word limit

The total portfolio length, excluding any appendices and references should be around 4,000 (maximum 5,000) words. If images or video clips etc are used the word count may be slightly shorter. Please include a word count at the end of your portfolio. A clear reflective commentary that identifies how you have engaged with the UKPSF is required. You need to refer to the specific details of the UKPSF, Descriptor 2 (see pp.15-16).  


The 5,000 word limit applies to the main body of the portfolio.  However, you may also want to include appendices with evidence to support your application. The portfolio should read coherently and not depend on the appendices to make sense.


Please make appropriate reference throughout your portfolio to relevant literature and research findings. All texts cited in your portfolio should follow normal academic conventions for citation and be included in an end list of references. The preferred style for bibliographic references is the Harvard system.

Support We Can Offer

There is no suite of events or sessions specifically designed for staff who are applying for recognition at D2. However CALT can give personal support, in the form of the following:

Monthly lunchtime meetings

Monthly lunchtime meetings to discuss teaching and our portfolios. These sessions will be informal, and each month we'll discuss a different theme related to your portfolios. Nick will provide some reading and resources to support these sessions and experienced members of staff will come along to discuss specific matters, such as teaching international students.

Teaching-related events

Teaching-related events run in UCL which are aimed at helping staff improve their teaching and helping students to learn. These include UCL-wide talks and workshops such as:

UK Professional Standards Moodle

CALT runs a Moodle which is an umbrella for all the different recognition pathways in UCL. Feel free to browse this. All the information about assessment of the portfolios and requirements for the portfolios are taken from the D2 handbook which is on the Moodle: (https://moodle.ucl.ac.uk/mod/book/view.php?id=1123395&chapterid=57828)

In addition you may find that discipline-specific events, such as teaching-focused conference sessions, can offer valuable insights into the fields you need to cover in your portfolio.


Does HEA recognition mean anything?

Almost all higher education institutions in the UK are members of the HEA, and many of them (including UCL) accept HEA Fellowship as part-fulfilment of probationary requirements for new members of academic staff.  

Is there a lot of reading?

Not necessarily: you can read as much or as little as you like, but you are required to demonstrate some awareness of subject and pedagogic research in your portfolio. More help will be provided on this front from CALT.

How is this different from a PG Cert?

A PG Cert is an academic award, whereas Fellowship of the HEA is recognition from a professional body. Some PG Certs are accredited by the HEA, but Fellowship alone does not count for any academic credit and can’t be used towards an academic award.

Contact Details

For more information please contact Nick Grindle: n.grindle@ucl.ac.uk, and please copy your email to Abbie King (abbie.king@ucl.ac.uk).