SPARK (Non-graduating)

Key facts

  • Start date: September
  • Accreditation: classes within the programme are accredited by the Advance HE to lead to professional recognition at Associate Fellowship of the HEA (AFHEA) and Fellowship of the HEA (FHEA)
  • Application deadline: applications are accepted throughout the year on a rolling basis
  • Study mode and duration: Part-time, face-to-face and online learning with some independent study

Study with us

This is a non-graduating route. If you're required to engage with this programme through the Academic Career Development Framework (ACDF), you must gain 30 credits from the SPARK programme, including the 20 credit module Teaching, Learning & Assessment within the Disciplines.

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Why this course

This is a flexible academic development programme ideal for university staff seeking to engage with the Academic Career Development Framework and/or to enhance their understanding and skills relating to learning and teaching in higher education.

The programme examines factors influencing teaching, learning and assessment in higher education and offers a range of intellectual and practical methods to inform, explore, and develop learning and teaching across the disciplines.

You'll be encouraged to draw from your own area or discipline and to explore contemporary issues relating to learning and teaching in these areas throughout the course.

What you'll study

Applicants can register to attend classes upon acceptance into the programme.

If you are required to engage with this programme through the Academic Career Development Framework (ACDF), you must gain 30 credits from the SPARK programme, including the 20 credit module Teaching, Learning & Assessment within the Disciplines.

THE Awards 2019: UK University of the Year Winner
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Course content

To engage with this non-graduating route you can complete any classes from the SPARK programme.

Learning & teaching

All classes are taught using experiential and reflective techniques to ensure learning outcomes are applicable, useful and based in authentic activity. Classes are flexible, allowing you to make choices based on your personal interests.

Classes involve a face-to-face element in addition to blended learning elements and individual study. Online elements are conducted through Myplace, the University's online learning environment.


Assessment types differ from class-to-class and align constructively with teaching and learning aims. Essays, presentations, individual projects and other methods are commonly used.

Teaching Learning and Assessment within the Disciplines

This class provides an opportunity for you to consider disciplinary perspectives on the main theories of how students learn, and by reflecting on this to consider what this might mean for their teaching practice. You'll have an opportunity to practice and experience a number of teaching styles and methods, including google hangout, blended learning, peer observations etc. Finally, you'll be supported in considering how to design effective methods of assessment through taking an ‘Assessment for Learning’ perspective.

Academic Writing

This module combines theoretical perspectives on academic writing with practical activities that should increase your own writing output. There's a strong emphasis on contextualising writing in your academic discipline, while recognising current trends towards interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary requirements for writing. You'll be encouraged to choose a focus for this module: either your own academic writing or your use of writing activities in teaching at undergraduate or postgraduate level.

Course (re)Design

This module involves the evaluation of current course designs and the creation and development of new course designs which promote improved teaching, learning and assessment. The module will provide you with the skills and knowledge required to engage in course (re)design, exploring the pedagogical theories behind, and practical construction of, enhanced student learning experiences.

Management and Leadership in Higher Education

This module combines theoretical perspectives and practical activities to explore the concepts and practices behind effective management and leadership in the Higher Education context.

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Entry requirements

Academic requirements

An Honours degree or an equivalent qualification.

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Fees & funding

Fees may be subject to updates to maintain accuracy. Tuition fees will be notified in your offer letter.

All fees are in £ sterling, unless otherwise stated, and may be subject to revision.

Annual revision of fees

Students on programmes of study of more than one year (or studying standalone modules) should be aware that tuition fees are revised annually and may increase in subsequent years of study. Annual increases will generally reflect UK inflation rates and increases to programme delivery costs.

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University of Strathclyde applicants

Staff with contracts totalling 12 months or longer: free of charge

Staff employed for less than 12 months at Strathclyde: £861 per 20 credit module

External applicants

Bespoke training can be designed for external clients on request for an additional fee. Please contact

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Start date: Sep 2024


Start date: Sep 2024

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Contact us

Catherine Deeney

Programme Administrator