Postgraduate Module Descriptor

EFPM900: The Contemporary Academic in Context

This module descriptor refers to the 2020/1 academic year.

Module Content

Syllabus Plan

This module is designed to support the development of supportive communities of practice amongst academic professionals in Higher Education. It also gives participants the opportunity to examine their academic practice in the round (administration, teaching, and scholarship/research), underpinned by evidence-informed approaches and the outcomes from research, scholarship and continuing professional development.  

Most of the teaching on the module is concentrated into three delivery days. Structured learning activities will be varied, to include interactive lectures, discussion groups, expert panels, and collaborative small group tasks. The curriculum content is aligned to the UKPSF for teaching and supporting learning and the Academic Professional Apprenticeship standard. Participants will be allocated an assessment tutor from the teaching team, who will provide support as needed, in face-to-face meetings, by email, skype, and/or telephone.

Sessions can vary according to your and other participants’ interests and questions, but they are designed to fit into three broad themes: 

1. Contemporary issues in UK Higher Education, for example:

  • The nature of contemporary academic practice in all its dimensions: research, teaching, citizenship/leadership, and business and community relations
  • Contexts for creativity in higher education: issues, changes and values
  • Widening Participation, schools liaison, and HE admissions
  • Developing student skills for academic success, employment and sustainability.

2. Academic practice in a research-intensive university, for example:

  • The social, cultural and policy context of the contemporary university, in particular research-intensive universities such as the University of Exeter
  • The relationship between research and teaching and how to negotiate them
  • Research-inspired, inquiry-led learning
  • Developing teaching and research practice through dialogue with peers: academic tribes and territories; communities of practice.

3. Individual Career Trajectories, for example:

  • The Exeter Academic and continuing professional development
  • Project management, problem-solving, and career development
  • Where applicable, planning your own professional development with regards to research.

Additional elements will be designed in collaboration with you, as participants, in order to reflect your own priorities and the needs of your department, as determined in prior and on-going discussions between you, your Academic Leads and other stakeholders.

Learning and Teaching

This table provides an overview of how your hours of study for this module are allocated:

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

...and this table provides a more detailed breakdown of the hours allocated to various study activities:

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities21Three delivery days (each of approximately 7 hours), involving whole group sessions, comprised of a combination of activities, such as interactive lectures, presentations, discussion groups, collaborative small group tasks, poster presentations, and panel discussions.
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities1Individual tutorials with assessment tutor and/or academic mentor.
Guided Independent Study21Preparation for poster, oral presentation, and for giving feedback to peers.
Guided Independent Study50Reading course materials and resources for extended study.
Guided Independent Study50Undertaking data collection and analysis (or equivalent) relating to your extended study.
Guided Independent Study52Writing (and composing if Option 3 selected) extended study.
Placement105Directed activities in professional contexts – CPD and roles related to academic practice.

Online Resources

This module has online resources available via ELE (the Exeter Learning Environment).

Other Learning Resources

Participants will also need to construct an individual list of references of books, journal articles and policy literature according to their extended project plan.