Staff have the opportunity to gain professional recognition as Fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) through our CADENZA programme, which is designed to foster teaching excellence in all staff who teach and support learning. It is accredited by the Higher Education Academy and is mapped against the UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF). 

Information and resources 

The CADENZA Moodle pages contain full details about:

  • descriptors of fellowship
  • application process
  • dates and deadlines
  • application forms
  • examples
  • further support offered to applicants.

Pathways to fellowship

We have produced a short video detailing both our Pathways to Fellowship at Essex (<5 min) and more detailed guidance for both CADENZA (15 min) and our Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education Practice, PGCHEP (18 min) in further videos. We recommend CADENZA to colleagues with more than 3 years HE experience and PGCHEP to those with less than 3 years experience in HE, who may benefit from a more structured, supported developmental pathway. Find out more about the PGCHEP.

For staff who have a health professions background (e.g. HSC, SRES), you may wish to seek Fellowship through the Postgraduate Certificate in Medical and Clinical Education (MaCE). This pathway is available as a professional development programme in the School of Health and Social Care. For further information about this route please email or the programme director Chris Green.


Engagement with CADENZA will enable you to gain fellowship status of the HEA at one of four descriptors, giving you professional recognition that is nationally recognised and portable. It is an excellent way to fulfil your probationary requirements and plan and record your professional development at the University.

Direct application can be made for all four descriptors of fellowship;

  • Associate Fellow (D1) – a requirement for GTAs and suitable for some Professional Services staff who support learning and teaching.
  • Fellow (D2) – the requirement for all new academic staff to gain permanence. This may also be appropriate for some Professional Services staff dependent upon their role.
  • Senior Fellow (D3) – for experienced academic staff who have a leadership role in relation to teaching and supporting learning. Some senior Professional Services staff may also be eligible.
  • Principal Fellow (D4) for senior staff who can demonstrate strategic leadership and impact across the institution and wider.

Why is it called CADENZA?

The term CADENZA, “a virtuoso solo passage inserted into a movement in a concerto” was deliberately chosen to recognise the unique teaching and learning contribution of each individual at Essex.

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