Senior Fellow (Descriptor 3)

On this page:

  • Typical Applicants
  • Pre-Requisite
  • Differentiation of Descriptor 3
  • Statements at Descriptor 3
  • Vignettes for Descriptor 3
  • Application Process for Descriptor 3 (Senior Fellow)
  • Evidencing Your Practice at Descriptor 3

A list of Aberystwyth Senior Fellows by Year  or by Department

Typical Applicants at Descriptor 3

Applicants for recognition at this level will be able to provide evidence of a sustained record of effectiveness in relation to teaching and learning.  Such individuals are likely to lead or be members of established academic teams. They are likely to be able to demonstrate impact and influence through for example:

  • responsibility for leading, managing or organising programmes, subjects and/or disciplinary areas
  • mentoring within subject areas, or mentoring those new to teaching
  • departmental and/or wider teaching and learning support advisory responsibilities within the University.

Differentiation of Descriptor 3

Individuals applying for recognition in this category will have gained relevant experience through a range of approaches including mentoring, coordinating and supervising individuals and groups. They will evidence depth and sophistication of their understanding through sustained success in teaching, mentoring and leadership.

They may provide evidence of effective and significant impact on students, colleagues and/or the institution. Their mentoring role will have included supporting, challenging and guiding others in order for them to develop themselves. They may have developed and led substantial programmes of teaching and learning, led

cross- or inter-institutional teaching and learning focused projects, provided leadership for work in discipline based communities, or have led consultancy for major pieces of pedagogic work in subject associations and professional bodies. They may have seeded and/or driven change which significantly impacted on teaching and learning or institutional culture.


There is no pre-requisite for application at Descriptor 3.  Applicants may not necessarily have already attained recognition at Descriptor 2 (Fellow).  Because the evidence provided will demonstrate a considerable level of expertise across all areas of activity, core knowledge and professional values of the Professional Standards Framework, it will be inclusive of the Descriptor 2 requirements.

Vignettes at Descriptor 3

Evidence at Descriptor 3

Evidence can be drawn from both formal and informal experiences, but should demonstrate a high level of expertise across all dimensions (the Areas of Activity, Core Knowledge and Professional Values) of the UKPSF.

For example, evidence may draw on membership of a Learning and Teaching Committee.  However, though this may be an opportunity for personal and professional development, membership itself does not necessarily impact on others.  If, through this membership, you have been able to demonstrate development of others or a resultant change of practice within a teaching team or discipline area that has had a positive impact on the student learning experience, this would be appropriate evidence.

Evidence may also include leadership in the design, delivery and evaluation of programmes to ensure innovative practice, demonstrating depth of understanding of scholarship and research into teaching and utilising this to inform practice.

Evidence may also include engagement in peer review both of research and teaching and subsequent development of the mentee

It could also draw on academic responsibilities both inside and external to the institution (e.g. professional body responsibilities, external examining, peer review and validation) which demonstrate leadership and drive change both within the institution or discipline.

Evidence of completion of or engagement in particular activities do not constitute evidence per se. However they may provide a starting point for discussing actions and developmental impact.

Some examples include:

  • enrolment on on-line courses run by Epigeum which specifically consider management and leadership in higher education
  • programme director events
  • teaching adviser networks
  • school Learning and Teaching Committees (with all programme directors)
  • teaching Fellowships
  • programme redesign sabbaticals
  • quality assurance processes such as validation and review
  • Staff Development and Performance Review (SDPT) Scheme


Application Process

Applicants will submit on the proforma provided:  The must be submitted in a digital format to  

This will inlude:

SFHEA Checklist





Application Form


Total word count 


6,000 words max

Personal details



Teaching Philosophy Statement/

A reflective dialogue of your current practice (over the last 2-3 years) informed by the first six attributes of Descriptor 3 of the UKPSF which demonstrates sustained success as a teacher, and successful and sustained engagement with continuing professional development



Claim Grid


An overview of your experience aligned to all dimensions of the UKPSF.



Case Studies


Two case studies which specifically address the differentiation of Descriptor 3 (and thus would include evidence of attribute VII)


2x 1,500 words

Other information



500 words

CPD Plan

A continuing professional development plan


Referee statements


Two references, one from someone senior to you, and another from a member of a team you lead, or a mentee. Please ensure that refereess have read the Guidelines for Referees.


✓ x 2

Institutional/Line Manager’s verification  statement


Line managers sign off form