PGDip in Academic Management and Leadership with Academic Professional Apprenticeship (PGDip/APA)

Course overview

Entry requirements

  • Entry
    The programme is internally facing and will only admit members of staff at Aston University who can demonstrate that they have opportunities to successfully engage with the assessments within the modules on the programme.
More information

Key dates

  • Start date
    February 2020

Course outline

Apprentices will enrol on Aston’s existing Advance-HE accredited PGCert to gain Fellowship of the HEA and progress to gain both a Postgraduate Diploma in Academic Management and Leadership and the Academic Professional Apprenticeship award.

PGDip project work will be based within the participant’s school supplemented by training/coaching from CLIPP and the OD service.  PGDip projects must be selected to meet both the learning and teaching needs of the participant’s own school and the needs for professional development of the APA apprentice.  The PGCert and PGDip modules will contribute to the national apprenticeship requirement for 20% ‘off the job training’.

Entry requirements

The main eligibility criteria for the APA/ PGDip AML are that the applicant:

  • Has been offered a place on Aston’s PGCert HE
  • Has a contract of employment for 30 hours or more each week at Aston throughout the APA;
  • Is a citizen of the UK or European Economic Area (EEA) and has been ordinarily resident for three years prior to the start of the apprenticeship; or
  • Is a non-EEA citizen with permission from the UK Government to live in the UK (not for educational purposes) and ordinarily resident in the UK for three years prior to the start of the apprenticeship;
  • Has basic functional qualifications (and certificates) in maths and English (Grade 4 or C in GCSE or recognize international equivalent);
  • Can demonstrate there is a substantive opportunity to develop one’s academic practice skills, knowledge and values on the programme. This means that those with extensive prior experience working in HE and/or a level 8 qualification in an education related subject may not be eligible.
Course summary

The programme is a collaboration between Aston’s Centre for Learning Innovation and Professional Practice (CLIPP) and the Organisational Development (OD) unit.  It provides a raft of opportunities for training, coaching, mentoring in academic management and leadership. 

This programme is intended for those who are early in their career as a teacher in higher education and wish to find ways to ‘accelerate’ their career trajectory.  The programme does not require participants to hold a formal management or leadership position at Aston.  Instead, it takes a view that early-career teachers in HE are frequently asked to lead and manage academic tasks, such as: managing an e-learning project; being a programme director; or being an admissions tutor – but these tasks are not usually recognised with formal management or leadership status.  Nevertheless, the success of these important tasks often depends upon effective skills, knowledge and values of management and leadership.  The programme aims to bridge the gap that early careers teachers in HE might experience in their level of academic practice.  

Course dates

The programme starts on the same date as the PGCert HE in February of each year.

Subject guide and modules

The APA at Aston follows the Teaching Specialist route and during the programme, participants must spend 20% of their working week on activities directed towards the study of their APA. This includes time spent on the PGCert and PGDip modules.

The PGCert involves:

  • Evolving teaching practice
  • Programme and curriculum design
  • Innovation in learning and teaching

The APA has a curriculum of three parts:

  • Core Knowledge
  • Core Skills
  • Core Values and Behaviours

The PGCert is assessed with coursework.

The PGDip is assessed with a professional presentation and a learning journal.

The APA curriculum is assessed through the End Point Assessment (EPA) which is in three parts:

  • An Academic Professional Practice Assessment (formal observation of teaching)
  • A Professional Conversation (akin to a viva voce)
  • A Written Submission (akin to an assessed practice portfolio)

The APA is entirely managed and conducted by an independent End Point Assessor Organisation (EPAO).  Advance HE is the EPAO provider for Aston’s APA.

Contact details

Programme Leader: Dr Julian Lamb,