UNSW staff can access professional development, recognition and reward opportunities which support and enhance quality teaching, learning and scholarship. Managed by the Academic Development Services team, the opportunities focus on student learning and good teaching practice linked to the UNSW 2025 Strategic theme of Educational Excellence.
Professional development opportunities at UNSW include development programs focused on practical and reflective approaches to teaching and learning in higher education, workshops and events facilitating sharing of good practice, peer review schemes, academic mentoring opportunities and much more.
Examples of development opportunities
Beginning To Teach (BTT) program is designed to develop the teaching capability of UNSW Early Career Researchers (ECRs) and Higher Degree Research candidates (HDRs) with little to no experience of teaching.
Foundations of University Learning and Teaching (FULT) program is offered to UNSW teaching staff with teaching experience who wish to develop their practice by exploring a range of perspectives, ideas, theories, and practical approaches to learning and teaching in the higher education context. FULT is a mandatory program for all new teaching staff at UNSW.
Graduate Certificate in University Learning & Teaching (GCULT) is offered by the School of Education within the UNSW Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. This postgraduate program enables university teachers to reflect on educational theory and student learning research from the perspective of their own teaching experiences.
UNSW Course Design Institute is designed to guide participants through the instructional design and redesign process in an intensive, five-day workshop. The institute will provide participants with the skills, knowledge, and support necessary to foster a learner-centred environment. Watch the 2021 CDI participant reflection video.
Self-paced professional learning modules are offered in Contemporary approaches to university teaching, Moodle training tutorials, Sustainable development goals, and additional UNSW modules as part of the continuing professional development framework.
UNSW staff can find more information about the programs on the Teaching Gateway.
The UNSW Academic Mentoring program is designed specifically to respond to the needs of learning and teaching in higher education. Our mentors include some of our most experienced and outstanding educators, recognised for their leadership in enhancing university teaching. The program offers support through website, guide and resources, with mentors also able to access professional development workshops.
Peer Review of Teaching
Summative Peer Review enables teaching staff who apply for awards or promotions to provide direct evidence of their teaching practice to their respective committees. Becoming a peer reviewer is a valuable development and leadership opportunity.
Some of the key events supporting the development of good teaching practice at UNSW include:
Connections Seminar Series - fortnightly peer-to-peer sharing of good practice, innovation and ideas in university learning and teaching.
Learning and Teaching Forum - annual event providing a platform for all UNSW educators to share good practice in university learning and teaching across disciplines.
Scientia Education Lecture Series - open to the public, these monthly lectures are delivered by our Scientia Education Fellows, who share their insights and inspiration for educational excellence with UNSW staff and the broader community.
Education Focussed Lunch and Learn Series - hosted by a different Faculty on a monthly basis, this two-hour event showcases education focussed academics' work and innovations, a networking lunch and professional development session.
The Advance HE Fellowship is an internationally recognised badge of expertise and experience for those who teach and support learning in higher education. It is conferred by Advance HE (previously known as the Higher Education Academy), an independent non-profit organisation based in the United Kingdom that is committed to world-class teaching in higher education. UNSW has over a hundred Fellows, Senior Fellows and Principal Fellows, with support available to assist academics in their application.
Recognition and Reward
In addition to professional development, UNSW staff can access support for recognition and reward opportunities, including grants and applications for national, industry-sponsored and internal awards related to learning and teaching. Academic Development Services who provide this support also manage the UNSW Scientia Education Investment Fund Program, which supports strategic projects and initiatives that are aimed at enhancing the overall student experience and agreed educational priorities aligned to the UNSW 2025 Strategy.