13 September 2018 - 13 September 2018
Location: Nidd Building, University of Hull

BOOKING FOR THIS EVENT IS NOW CLOSEDWORKSHOP FEEDBACK FORMThe programme leader or director role is a complex and important one, crucial to higher education institutions core business: the delivery of higher programmes of study at under- and post-graduate level. However, it is little researched or clearly defined. There is evident interest in the Programme Leader role across the sector, borne from a growing prevalence of the role and lack of clarity and support for those practicing.The responsibilities of the programme leader include academic leadership – that is creating a unified and coherent academic programme made up of a collection of modules, and the leadership of academics – supporting peers in meeting their specific responsibilities across the programme. Integral to both is the importance of creating productive and positive inter-personal relationships across a wide array of colleagues: quality and administrative officers, educational developers, academic peers, senior academic leaders and of course students. The workshop will offer a developmental opportunity for programme leaders and those invested in programme leadership to explore the role in their specific contexts (Jenny Lawrence), consider how to better frame and define the role (Rowena Senior) and look to the various aspects of programme leadership in 2 break out sessions:Academic leadership: Programme level assessment (Ruth Whitfield)Leading academics: Building effective interpersonal relationships and integrated working (Sarah Moore)Sam Ellis will close with a large group session exploring the development of programme directors’ personal efficacy. The workshop price also includes a copy of SEDA Special 39

Dr Sam Ellis SFHEA is Senior Lecturer in Academic Development and programme leader of the PgCAP at Glasgow Caledonian University. He has been a teacher and educational developer since 2005. He taught at Bangor University for eight years, and has been at Glasgow Caledonian University since 2013. His current research focuses on the development and retention of talented teachers, and is co – editor of the SEDA Special ‘Supporting Programme Leaders and Programme Leadership’.

Dr Jenny Lawrence, AFSEDA, PFHEA is a Teaching Enhancement Advisor at the University of Hull, Advance HE associate, and independent consultant in academic practice. Her research interests are in critical and feminist pedagogies and the role the scholarship of teaching and learning can play in the positive wellbeing of the HE learning community. She works closely with the University of Hull’s Programme Directors Network, and is co –editor of the SEDA Special ‘Supporting Programme Leaders and Programme Leadership’.

Sarah Moore SFHEA is Professional Development Manager for Learning and Teaching at the University of Sheffield. Alongside her work with programme leaders, she teaches on the Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching for Learning in Higher Education and is the Director of the Foundation Pathway to AFHEA recognition. Sarah is currently studying for a Doctorate in Education at Sheffield, exploring the ways in which those new to teaching enact their developing professional identities in the classroom.

Dr Rowena Senior SFHEA, FSEDA is Lecturer in Academic Development at Aston University, and Course Director for the Doctor of Education in Higher Education programme and supervisor of M.Ed research projects. A Chartered Psychologist Rowena has published widely in relation to academic leadership and authored Aston’s Programme Directors Handbook. She is the Academic Lead for the Programme Directors’ Network.

Ruth Whitfield, SFSEDA, SFHEA, is an Educational Developer at the University of Bradford where she works with the Programme Leaders Forum and is responsible for the University’s Learning & Teaching Professional Development & Recognition Scheme (HEA Fellowships) and Project Manager for the National Teaching Fellowship funded Programme Assessment Strategies (PASS) project.  

The event will be in the Nidd Building, registration will be in the Mezzanine.

Hull is 45 minutes from York, Leeds and Doncaster, and just over an hour from Sheffield.

The University of Hull is a 15 minute bus ride from Hull’s Paragon Station. 

The University of Hull

Cottingham Road



The fee will be £60 (to include a copy of SEDA Special 39).Refreshments and a sandwich lunch will be provided. Joining instructions will be sent nearer to the date.

10.00 Registration and Refreshments – Mezzanine

10.10 – 10.30 Welcome Address – SR1 & SR2 Second Floor

Jenny Lawrence (University of Hull) will open the day with a brief overview of programme leadership followed by an invitation to reflect on the role in the delegates’ specific contexts.

10.30 – 11.30 The shape of programme leadership – SR1 & SR2 Second floor

Rowena Senior (Aston University) will progress this thinking and provide delegates with a framework for gaining a greater understanding of the ‘shape’ of the role at their institution. The session will suggest a multipronged approach to uncover the various tasks of the programme leader and the different means of making the role better understood amongst programme leaders themselves and the wider University.

11.30 – 12.30 Beyond Isolation: Exploring the relationality and collegiality of the programme leader role – SR1 & SR2 Second floor

Sarah Moore (University of Sheffield) Programme leaders work with a wide variety of groups: the programme team, senior leaders, departmental administrative and support staff, and central professional services, as well as students. These professional relationships are vital yet deeply sensitive. Programme leaders may not have line management responsibility for those they work with, they are often reliant on goodwill to carry out their role successfully.

This interactive session will draw on qualitative research exploring the nature of the different interactions that programme leaders have with colleagues from across a single institution. Participants will then develop collective knowledge around how the interactions associated with the programme leader role work in practice, the challenges that programme leaders face in working with others, and practical suggestions for negotiating these relationships productively.

12.30 – 13.15 Lunch – Mezzanine

13.15-14.15 Breakout Workshops: Delegates may choose between two breakout sessions:

Assessment challenges for programme leaders: Making the move to programme focused assessment SR1 & SR2 – Second floorJenny Lawrence (University of Hull) Despite several major national initiatives, assessment remains one of the most challenging areas for programme teams. The Programme Assessments Strategies (PASS) project funded by the National Teaching Fellowship Scheme, aimed to confront a fundamental issue for every HE course/programme leader: how to design an effective, efficient, inclusive and sustainable assessment strategy which delivers the key course/programme outcomes.

Using PASS workshop resources, this interactive session will present an overview of the project, consider current assessment issues, explore case studies where programme focused assessment has had positive impact on both student and staff experiences of assessment, and consider its implications for programme leaders.

A year in the life of a programme leader – Creativity Room Ground floor

Sam Ellis (Glasgow Caledonian University) When new to the role of programme director, it is generally difficult to get a handle on the annual cycle of required tasks. At Glasgow Caledonian, programme directors created a calendar booklet which proved useful for novices and old hands alike. In this session, we look at the prototype booklet and discuss ways of adopting a similar model in other institutions.

14.15 -14.30 Refreshments – Mezzanine

14.30-15.30 Toothless tiger hidden lynch pin: programme leadership in a colder climate – SR1 & SR2 Second floor

Sam Ellis (Glasgow Caledonian University) will close the day with a large group session reporting on how the Scottish sector at large is both supporting current programme leaders and developing prospective programme leaders. Delegates will have opportunities to share their own experiences of the support they receive, their induction into programme leadership, and the best (and worst!) elements of the role and the consideration of effective ways forward in further supporting this essential role.