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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!


When I entered the classroom and saw about 20 people sitting in rows, I immediately 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. 


Course at a Glance

  • Dates: see below
  • Instructors: Nicola Owtram, Nicola Hargreaves, Annika Zorn
  • Place: Cappella, Villa Schifanoia
  • Target audience and eligibility:  Ph.D. researchers from 3rd year onwards
  • Contact: Judith Przyrowski, judith.przyrowski@eui.eu, telephone 0039 055 4685285 – internal 2285


Up-coming training sessions:

 April 2018: 17 to 19 and 23 to 25 April  (Registrations are closed)

  • Instructors: Nicola Owtram, Annika Zorn

June 2018: 11 to 15 (only morning), 18 to 20 June 

  • Instructors: Nicola Owtram, Nicola Hargreaves, Annika Zorn



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 experience and/ or a formal certificate of teaching skills.
Several times a year the EUI offers a theoretical and practical ‘Introduction to Teaching in Higher Education’. Participants who attend the whole course, teach a practice session, and present a course proposal 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 must have completed this training before the start of the placement.

How this Course Works

The courses will be a "full immersion" in the world of teaching and learning. Participants will have the opportunity to apply what they have learned in short teaching practice slots. 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 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 the trainers. 

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.

Nicola Owtram is coordinator of the Language Centre at the EUI, where she teaches English for Academic Purposes Development.
She is an Associate Fellow at the Higher Education Academy (UK) and she teaches an introductory course for early career academics in Teaching Skills.
Nicola holds a PhD in Linguistics from University College London. Her research interests lie in the fields of academic writing, comparative stylistics, cognitive pragmatics, and teaching and learning.

Nicola Hargreaves (EUI) is a member of the 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.


Annika Zorn works for the Academic and Professional Development Programme at the Academic Service.

She is an experienced  trainer of trainers and HE teachers having worked with EU institutions and senior academics from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds all over the world. She is the founder of an online school and a senior expert for running knowledge sharing and creation projects.

Annika is an Associate Fellow at the Higher Education Academy (UK) and holds a Ph.D. in Political and Social Sciences from the EUI.

Page last updated on 13 April 2018