Becoming nationally recognised for teaching excellence: Reflections from winners of CATE

[ When


o Where

Remote access only

8 Remote access

Not available

£ Cost


É Contact

Jane Steele

à Add to Calendar

vCal    iCal

q Share

The University of Aberdeen and the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) invite you to register to attend presentations by winners of the Advance HE National Teaching Fellowship Scheme (NTFS) and the Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence (CATE).


The National Teaching Fellowship Scheme (NTFS) and the Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence (CATE) are organised by Advance HE and have been running in Scotland since 2018.

The NTF Scheme celebrates and recognises individuals who have made an outstanding impact on student outcomes and the teaching profession in Higher Education (HE). The Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence (CATE) recognises and rewards collaborative work that has had a demonstrable impact on teaching and learning and highlights the key role of teamwork in higher education.

The NTFS and CATE are amongst the highest profile awards in the UK sector for innovation and practice in Higher Education learning and teaching. The awards are highly competitive with only a relatively small number of colleagues and teams from across the sector being awarded a NTF or CATE each year.

Presentation Outlines

Open to colleagues aspiring to achieve a NTF and/or a CATE, these one hour online presentations by the University of Aberdeen and UHI winners will explore how they approached writing their application, how they gathered and presented evidence, and aspects of  their practice that were praised or highlighted by the Advance HE reviewing panel. There will be time for questions and discussion but there will not be time to go into detail about the criteria or the institutional processes for selecting applications to take forward.  You are encouraged to explore the award criteria through the Advance HE webpages before attending the presentations and seeking guidance on respective institutional selection processes ahead or after attending the presentation(s)


The Applied Music team was assembled to deliver the BA when it moved to UHI (2012) from Strathclyde (established there in 1993). The move required the course to be redeveloped to a model of blended learning, as it is a practical music degree facilitating accessibility across Scotland, without students having to relocate. We use a blended approach of online, videoconference (VC), and face-to-face teaching at five residencies per year. Based around Scotland, we attract a diverse cohort, including approximately 50% mature students, those with caring responsibilities, as well as professional musicians who combine study with work commitments. We support multiple musical genres (including traditional, popular, classical, and jazz).

The Applied Music course at UHI was the first multi-genre practical music degree in the UK to use a blended learning model, and we also offer Masters Music and the Environment, based on the same approach.  We use technology to connect our students in their teaching and learning, socially, and musically. As part of the courses, we teach online musical collaboration, allowing students to form ‘virtual’ ensembles, as well as interact musically in real-time. The team also provides many opportunities for extra-curricular and community-based musical activities, both for staff and students. We were awarded CATE in 2021 and the Advance HE reviewing panel highlighted our values and ethics that guide our decision and collaborative approach as a team as a real strength of our claim. In addition to how we develop communities of practice in, through and beyond our BA programme.

Located within the University of Aberdeen’s School of Education, the team delivering the Teaching Qualification for Further Education (TQFE) and the BA in Professional Development (BAPD) qualifications provides professional learning for educators in Scotland’s Colleges and other educational contexts. In 2021, our team gained an Advance HE Collaborative Award for Teaching excellence (CATE) for our interdisciplinary teamwork, which provides flexible learning opportunities for in-service educators. Our CATE application focused on collaborative work conducted by core team members, to address challenges and changes facing Scotland’s educators, and their need for accessible and integrated qualifications. In our submission, we focused on the effective and innovative digital and international learning experiences developed by the team, which have had significant impact within the University of Aberdeen, across Scotland’s Colleges and internationally.

Our presentation will outline the journey to this achievement, with a view to providing insights and ideas for other teams thinking of making their own applications. There will be opportunities to discuss the collaborative approach of the team and the process of preparing an application, and we hope to inspire you to embark on your own path towards a CATE award.

To Book

Please register online via Eventbrite. This presentation will be delivered through Microsoft Teams, the joining link will be sent to registered participants a couple of days ahead of the presentation. Please register with an institution email address.


We want to make this a positive experience for all participants and hope we have met everyone's needs in joining this session. If you have particular access needs please contact us at so we can work together to get you as good an experience as we can.


Please read our policy on how we treat any personal information collected in relation to our events:
Data Protection Statement for Events