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Senior Fellowship

Fellowship demonstrates a personal and institutional commitment to professionalism in learning and teaching in higher education.

The UKPSF and Senior Fellowship

Senior Fellowship is awarded to professionals who demonstrate they meet the criteria of Descriptor 3 (D3) of the UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF) for teaching and supporting learning in higher education.

By applying to be a Senior Fellow of HEA you will present a thorough understanding of effective approaches to teaching and learning support as a key contribution to high quality student learning. You should be able to provide evidence of: 

  • Successful engagement across all five Areas of Activity;
  • Appropriate knowledge and understanding across all aspects of Core Knowledge; 
  • A commitment to all the Professional Values; 
  • Successful engagement in appropriate teaching practices related to the Areas of Activity;
  • Successful incorporation of subject and pedagogic research and/or scholarship within the above activities, as part of an integrated approach to academic practice;
  • Successful engagement in continuing professional development in relation to teaching, learning, assessment, scholarship and, as appropriate, related academic or professional practices; 
  • Successful coordination, support, supervision, management and/or mentoring of others (whether individuals and/or teams) in relation to learning and teaching.

Download the Senior Fellowship pack

If you feel that you are working within this category, download your Senior Fellow guidance pack to find out more about how to apply.

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Senior Fellowship (SFHEA) offers you many benefits, including:

  • Consolidating your personal development and evidence of influencing other colleagues’ professional practice in your higher education career;
  • Demonstrating your commitment to teaching, learning and the student experience, through engagement in a practical process that encourages research, reflection and development;
  • Senior Fellowship is increasingly sought by employers across the education sector as a condition of appointment and promotion for management and leadership positions;
  • For individuals, to identify their expertise with the entitlement to use post-nominal letters – SFHEA;
  • Recognised and valued by a growing number of international institutions.
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Is Senior Fellowship for you?

Are you an individual able to provide evidence of a sustained record of effectiveness in relation to teaching and learning, incorporating for example, the organisation, leadership and/or management of specific aspects of teaching and learning provision? Such individuals are likely to lead or be members of established academic teams. Typically, those likely to be eligible to apply for Senior Fellowship are:

  • experienced staff able to demonstrate impact and influence through, for example, responsibility for leading, managing or organising programmes, subjects and/or disciplinary areas;
  • experienced subject mentors and staff who support those new to teaching;
  • experienced staff with departmental and/or wider teaching and learning support advisory responsibilities within an institution.

If you feel that you are working within this category download your Senior Fellow guidance pack to find out more about how to apply.

Read our Senior Fellows' stories
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Fellowship Category Tool

Our Fellowship Category Tool has been designed to help you understand which category of Fellowship most closely reflects your current practice and to reflect on your ongoing professional development and career aspirations.

After you have answered a series of choice questions, which will take around 10-20 minutes, you will be shown your results and a PDF report summarising your responses will be sent to you.

Use the Fellowship Category Tool
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Applying and application fees

There are various application routes for Fellowship, they are made in writing and need to be supported by written references. Find out more about the available application routes.

Application fees vary depending on the route you take to Fellowship, with individuals from subscribing institutions benefiting from discounted fees.


Accredited Provision (individual from a member institution) - No cost
Accredited Provision (individual from a non-member institution) - £330
Direct application to Advance HE (individual from a member institution) - £330
Direct application to Advance HE (individual from non-member institution) - £660

Senior Fellow Writing Retreats

If you are thinking of applying for Senior Fellowship, our Senior Fellow Writing Retreats are designed to help you create an application that fully reflects your practice. 

Find out more
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Do you want to support your staff to achieve Fellowship?

Advance HE offers Fellowship support to institutions through a structured process:

  • Fellowship workshops - sessions helping your staff understand Fellowship and the application process
  • Fellowship Writing Retreats - expert support providing a structured and guided environment in which to construct an application for Fellowship
  • draft Fellowship applications reviews - a consultant will review applications and provide annotated feedback, including points for further development.

All of these services can be delivered online.

Find out more
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