Surrey University Stag


Module code: GCAM009

Module Overview

Many colleagues find themselves moving from a standpoint of focussing on their own academic/professional development, to a consideration of (and responsibility for) guiding and supporting the development of others as they progress in their university careers. This development and leadership role may be as a module or programme leader; head of department; director of teaching, or associate dean for teaching, or in a more central role within the university structure for example, as a full-time academic developer or PVC for teaching and learning.


As there are no set routes into academic leadership, the trajectories for colleagues entering this field are personal and idiosyncratic. This module will, therefore, focus on participants’ auto-ethnographic analyses of their academic journeys. This will be considered in the context of professionalism, expertise, culture, gender, discipline that participants may better articulate the origins of their identity as a ‘developer of others’ and how this

contributes to their perceptions of their development role. This module focuses on leadership through academic activity not on formal management roles.


A consideration of issues from participants’ “home discipline” will be used as a starting point to move from the familiar to the unfamiliar; offering a consideration of generic and specific academic issues.


Development of academics is often tied to national education agendas. Participants will be asked to place the role of the academic leader within the UKPSF (or alternative framework for overseas students, as appropriate).


Participants will be guided to reflect on a number of central questions. What is the role of the academic leader? Should the academic leader be considered to have technical competence in the field of teaching, or should we be looking towards a more holistic conception of the academic leader as a particular type of expert/scholar within higher education?

Are academic leaders simultaneously insiders and outsiders? What contributes to this dual identity and is this an essential part of the role, or an impediment to the professional role of the leader?


Summary of links within the module:

Module provider

Surrey Institute of Education

Module Leader

LYGO-BAKER Simon (Sy Inst Educ)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

JACs code: X300

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 115

Tutorial Hours: 10

Guided Learning: 25

Module Availability

Semester 2

Module content

Indicative content includes:


The central activity within this module is the production of an autoethnography by each participant. The module is then effectively divided into five sections, with topics 2 – 5 relating back to aspects of topic 1:


Topic 1: Developing the method for the construction of an autoethnography.


Topic 2: Considering development of academics through disciplinary and interdisciplinary lenses.


Topic 3: Academic leadership in a national context.


Topic 4: The role of academic development: to lead or to follow?


Topic 5: Academic leadership and communities of practice.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework CASE STUDY (2,500 - 3,000 WORDS) 100

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate

their achievement of the learning outcomes. 


Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

A 2,500 – 3,000 word assignment or a narrated slideshare/presentation* in which the participants will present an autoethnographic case study (LO1-5).


*Narrated Slideshare/Presentations (10-15 mins): Participants may opt to produce a more visual representation for their assignment in the form of a slide share or video presentation where this fits more appropriately with the participant’s disciplinary background (e.g. where ‘performance’ may be a key aspect of the discipline). This will be about 10-15 minutes in length.


Indicate assessment deadlines: Summative assessment: week 13


Formative assessment and feedback

The formative assessments will provide the participants with the opportunity to critique other autoethnographic accounts in preparation for the development of their own summative assessment and to position their assignments in relation to their own professional position/aspirations.

Module aims

  • This module aims to: encourage participants to reflect upon their own academic history and professional activity as a way of contextualising their development and professional identity as a ¿leader and developer of others'.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001  Analyse their own trajectories into academic leadership through a process of autoethnography, enabling them to articulate their developer identity P
002  Critically reflect on the role of the academic leader in a disciplinary and interdisciplinary context  KC
003 Place the role of the academic leader into their own national Higher Education context and regulatory frameworks where they exist, e.g. UKPSF P
004 Examine the role(s) of the academic leader as a support service; change agent; advocate and scholar - at the level of the individual and the institution KP
005  Critique the utility of the concept of ¿communities of practice' in the context of academic leaders as ¿insiders¿ and ¿outsiders¿ P

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:


Allow participants to help students to reflect on their role as a developer of others and to articulate an explicit conceptual foundation upon which they can build future professional development.


The learning and teaching methods include:


a total of 150 hours of study. This will include:


25 hours (guided study)

10 hours (formal online interaction)

115 hours (independent study)


The guided study will direct the participants to consider their own identity and to think this to the perceived identities of others.


Seminars will reflect the module content outlined above and there will be a series of guided study tasks linked to the seminars, the results of which will be posted and discussed online.


The published works on national context tends to be very narrow in focus. To overcome this, the further readings list for this module is quite long to include publications that would be of relevance to overseas students, for whom the UKPSF may not appear appropriate.

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: GCAM009

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Higher Education MA 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2023/4 academic year.