Institute for Academic Development
Institute for Academic Development

Introduction to Academic Practice (IntroAP)

About the Introduction to Academic Practice course, a Higher Education Academy accredited course aimed at University of Edinburgh tutors and demonstrators.


This course is accredited by the Higher Education Academy (HEA) for Associate Fellowship.


This course is running twice in 2020/21, once in each Semester.

Please see more detailed information about dates in the 'Eligibilty' section, and the 'What the course entails section', below.

Disclaimer: Please note that Semester 2 2020 will be delivered online, and will include a mix of synchronous online seminars and asynchronous tasks on Learn. We don’t expect the total work load or hours needed to complete this course to change for online delivery. Dates and times will remain the same, although the online seminars will be shortened.


To be eligible to participate in the Introduction to Academic Practice you need to:

  1. Attend seminars on the three Wednesday afternoons during the course. Semester 1: Seminar 1: Wed 16th Sept 2020 13:30 – 15:15, seminar 2: Wed 30th Sept 2020 13:30 – 15:15, seminar 3: Wed 28th Oct 2020 13:30 – 15:15. Semester 2:  seminar 1: Wed 13th Jan 2021, 13:30 – 15:30; seminar 2: Wed 3rd Feb 2021, 13:30 – 15:30; seminar 3: Wed 3rd  Mar 2021, 13:30 – 15:30
  2. have at least two semesters of recent university teaching experiences before the course starts; AND
  3. you need to have CURRENT teaching responsibilities in Edinburgh University between the IntroAP seminars 2 and 3 i.e. during the semester you are taking the course, so that you can participate in a teaching observation exercise. Since this exercise is required for course completion, you cannot complete the course if you cannot guarantee teaching responsibilities during that period. Alternatively, for online teaching, you can use a recent recorded online teaching session that you have permission to share.
  4. You need to have a University staff ID during the time you are completing the course (you will have this as part of your teaching contract with the university), otherwise the HEA charges you an admin fee of £100 at the point of course completion.
  5. You will need to supply 2 references regarding your teaching practice, one with your application and one with your final assignment submission. Further details may be found in the Handbook.

What the course entails

Tasks: Between the seminar dates you will be asked to submit regular written homework tasks, to contribute to a discussion board, and to carry out a teaching observation exchange. There is also a final assignment of around 1,400 words to submit after seminar 3. These tasks and the seminars are fully supported with a dedicated set of course materials in LEARN to which course participants are enrolled at the start of the course.

Overview of key dates 20/21: to help you understand what would need to be done by when, please see this at-a-glance breakdown of 20/21 key dates for the IntroAP (PDF)

Workload: Previous participants have reported that between 36-40 hours’ input is required to complete all aspects of the course over the semester. We do not expect this to change for the online course.

Detailed course information

Detailed course information is found in the Introduction to Academic Practice handbook

Introduction to Academic Practice handbook (PDF)

Information sessions - find out more about the course

The information sessions for academic year 20/21 will be held on Monday 3rd Aug 2020, and Thursday 5th Nov 2020.

Book online now - IntroAP information session, 3rd August 2020

Book online now - IntroAP information session, 5th November 2020

Applying to the course

Please ensure you have read and meet the eligibility criteria (stated on this page) before applying.

Applications for Semester 1 will open on the 3rd of August and end on 30th August 2020. To apply please click on the link below:

Semester 1 - booking link

Applications for Semester 2 will open on the 2nd November and end on the 29th November 2020. To apply please click on the link below:

Semester 2 - booking link

How places are allocated

Places are allocated on a first-come-first-served basis as much as possible, but if we are oversubscribed, we may need to prioritise participants. We will take applicants who cannot be accommodated into account for our next intake.

Priority order if needed:

  1. PhD candidates in their final years
  2. Staff on short term contracts
  3. Other PhD candidates
  4. Other Staff
  5. Masters students
  6. Undergraduate students

Find out more about HEA accreditation

More information about Advance HE (formerly Higher Education Academy) accreditation is found on the HEA website:

Higher Education Academy accreditation

More information about the different ways by which you can work towards accreditation at Edinburgh is found here:

How to develop your teaching

Questions about this course?

  • Send us an email: 

Tutors and demonstrators: further queries and contact details

Contact details