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Cambridge Centre for Teaching and Learning

 

TAP is designed to encourage discussion, reflection and constructive critique between peers taking the programme and with tutors. By the end of the programme, you should be able to:

  • critically evaluate teaching, learning and assessment methods in your subject and at the level at which you teach, drawing on influential theories of learning and course design;
  • articulate your own understanding of teaching, learning and assessment (your 'philosophy of teaching');
  • develop a design for a teaching session or for a course that illustrates how you might apply this understanding in your own practice;
  • devise and reflect critically on practical approaches to professional development, in order to extend your own understanding and improve your own practice.

What we call your 'teaching fieldwork' is a core component of the programme and the programme assumes that participants undertake a significant amount of independent learning as well as working in peer-learning groups. You will be supported in developing your understanding and practice through a series of short workshops, a Moodle, reading assignments and developmental projects.

Please read the detailed Course Description before submitting an application for a place. Participants will be expected to attend all scheduled workshops and tutorials, unless indicated otherwise on the Course Description.


You should expect to give approximately 10 days throughout the programme to preparing for and attending course sessions, teaching development exercises (including reflecting on your teaching practice), reading, and writing assignments. Most participants choose to work more intensively on TAP assignments at some stages during the programme and less so at others, in accordance with variations in teaching and research commitments.


Successful applicants must meet the criteria outlined below. The application form asks for an explanation of why you want to participate in the programme, and the quality of applicants’ statements and compatibility of interest with the programme’s aims are also taken into account.

In the event that demand for places exceeds supply, we will prioritise applications from those in the final year of their doctoral study / research contract, and from those who have applied in previous years.

To be eligible for TAP, you must:

  • have a minimum of 20 hours’ teaching experience before the programme begins, and an expectation of at least 40 hours’ experience by the end of the programme;
  • be an early-career academic (for example, a postdoctoral researcher, early-career college lecturer, or PhD student after the first year of doctoral study) who teaches Cambridge students;
  • be able to devote approximately 10 days to participating fully in the programme (including participation on core sessions, independent study and practical teaching development exercises);
  • be able to attend all compulsory sessions (see the Course Description);
  • have the agreement of your PI / supervisor (if applicable) to taking part in the programme.

All applications are reviewed at the same time and late applications will not be considered.


TAP runs every year. If you are unsuccessful this year, you can apply to participate in a subsequent year provided that you continue to be a student and / or member of staff employed by the University or one of the Colleges. If demand for places exceeds supply, we aim to prioritise those who have applied in previous years and could not, at that time, be accommodated. We also aim to prioritise applicants in the final year of their contract / doctoral study.

Alternatively, if you have sufficient experience you may make an application direct to the Higher Education Academy (HEA) for recognition of your individual experience. Please note that individual applications incur an administration fee, which the CCTL is not able to cover. To find out more about applying directly to the HEA, consult the HEA website and / or attend the short CCTL short course ‘Higher Education Academy: Briefing’.


TAP is accredited by the Higher Education Academy, to which Cambridge subscribes. The programme is open to doctoral students registered with the University and to early-career postdoctoral researchers and academics who are employed by the University or one of the Colleges. This means that Cambridge PhD students, postdocs and academics do not pay a course fee, nor an accreditation fee.


To be eligible for TAP you must have at least 20 hours’ teaching experience before the programme begins and an expectation of at least 40 hours’ experience of teaching in higher education by the time the programme ends. You must have some teaching commitments in Cambridge during the period of the programme, in order to be able to complete some of the compulsory requirements.


For the purposes of TAP, "teaching in higher education" includes lecturing, leading seminars and classes, and supervising undergraduates and postgraduates. For most TAP participants, this teaching is based in Cambridge, though many also bring experience of teaching in other UK universities and / or overseas.

TAP includes some compulsory assignments such as peer observation of teaching, so TAP participants must undertake some teaching in Cambridge during the programme.

Please note: the minimum requirement of 40 hours’ teaching experience may not include time spent on the following:

  • preparing teaching materials;
  • marking essays;
  • teaching in secondary or further education.

TAP includes some compulsory exercises which can only be completed if you are teaching; some of these require you to be teaching in Cambridge. If you have no teaching commitments, and / or will not be teaching in Cambridge during TAP, then we cannot accept your application to the programme this year.


If your teaching hasn’t been confirmed before the application deadline, please indicate the number of teaching hours that you expect to undertake and what you expect to teach. If your application is successful, we will ask you to confirm teaching hours before the programme begins (typically around week 2 of Michaelmas Term).


We suggest that you approach your Supervisor / PI for advice. Your Department’s teaching office may also be able to help, or you could approach College Directors of Studies for subjects you are interested in teaching. If there is a particular course you want to teach, contact the Course Coordinator, as they may know of colleges looking for supervisors.


To complete TAP, you must attend or have attended the short course ‘Effective Undergraduate Supervision’. If you have not attended this workshop before you begin TAP, you must do so during the course of the programme. This workshop is run by CCTL in many Departments as well as through their central programme, and there are many instances of the workshop throughout the Michaelmas and Lent Terms.

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