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Introduction to Teaching in Higher Education

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I loved the teaching class, loved the enthusiasm and positive energy of the teachers and loved the general atmosphere of the class. The teaching course will certainly prove extremely useful to my future teaching experiences!


The EUI teacher training helped me a lot when applying for a teaching position. I was competing with other Ph.D. researchers who had hundreds of hours of  teaching experience. The teacher training and putting it into practice at the EUI by organizing a seminar with my colleagues helped me answer the questions I was asked about teaching methods and pedagogy at the job interview and be successful.



When I entered the classroom and saw about 20 people sitting in rows, I thought that this would be another routine training course. I was proven wrong in less than 10 minutes. My congratulations and warmest thanks for this. 



Teaching skills are increasingly important when applying for academic positions. In most academic positions you will combine research and teaching activities. Universities thus look for candidates who cover both an excellent research record (or the promise to develop an excellent research profile) but also Teaching experience and/or a formal certificate of teaching skills.
The ‘Introduction to Teaching in Higher Education’ is offered several times throughout the academic year. Participants who attend all the workshops, teach a practice session, present a course proposal and give feedback on the course proposals of three peers will be given an EUI teacher training certificate.
According to the EUI policy regarding teaching placements, all researchers who wish to go on external teaching placements organised by the EUI must have completed this training before the start of the placement.

How this Course Works

The course is a "full immersion" in the world of teaching and learning. We will provide both a theoretical approach to and practical knowledge of the most important issues that, according to current theories, teachers in higher education should take into consideration. In addition to the presentation of conceptual tools and strategies for good teaching and learning, some time will be allocated to practical exercises. For example, all participants will be asked to give a short lecture or seminar simulation which will be monitored and evaluated by their peers and the trainers. In the session ‘Designing University Teaching’, the drafting of a ‘course proposal’ will be examined, and the participants will be invited to complete the proposal independently within a fixed time frame. It will then be evaluated by their peers. 

What You Will Learn

At the end of the course you will

  • have an understanding of the most important theories underlying teaching in Higher Education
  • have acquired the skills to start teaching
  • have a better understanding of the learning & teaching approaches underlying effective course design
  • have understood how different teaching and learning activities can support your teaching objectives

This course will provide you with skills to design a course proposal. Both the course proposal and certificate should form part of your portfolio when you apply for a teaching position.


Lilley, Jeanette Mary

Dr Jeanette Lilley is a Teaching and Learning Officer based in the Academic Service at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy.

She has a PhD in Psychology from the University of Nottingham (UK) and more than 30 years’ experience of research and teaching in higher education.

Her special interests are in interdisciplinary research, in the professional and career development of doctoral researchers, in problem-based learning and in e-learning design.


Nicola Hargreaves is a member of the EUI Language Centre and the Academic Communications team (Max Weber Programme).

She is an Associate Fellow at the Higher Education Academy (UK)  and she teaches academic and professional English, public speaking skills, and introductory courses to teaching in Higher Education.
Nicola graduated in languages from the University of Otago, Dunedin, and an RSA DTEFLA.

Her research interests lie in the fields of academic writing, scholarly legal writing, public speaking skills, and teaching and learning.

BC mugshot

Ben Carver teaches academic writing at the European University Institute. He has many years of experience lecturing on undergraduate degrees and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, as well as having a Postgraduate Certificate in Education. His research background is in literary, historical, and cultural studies. He is the author of a book on alternate histories and the editor of another on conspiracy theories and literature (forthcoming), as well as various journal publications.

Page last updated on 02 November 2020