Introduction to academic practice at Oxford

The Introduction to academic practice at Oxford (IAPO) will take place from 26 to 28 September 2016. This programme is intended for newly appointed academics and researchers at the University of Oxford.

Oxford's newly appointed academics are a very diverse group, bringing a rich array of expertise from within and beyond academia. This programme respects the diversity of that experience and is designed to be flexible and to complement departmental and college induction arrangements. Participants may pick and choose the sessions they wish to attend.

The programme introduces participants to the special context of teaching and learning at Oxford, to tutorial teaching in particular, to the research environment, DPhil supervision, and to policy and management in the collegiate university. The programme as a whole is a forum that brings together critical discussion, experience, research, and knowledge of the Oxford context.


The 2016 programme will include the follow sessions.

Day one: Introduction to the University and support for academic life (half-day)

  • Welcome to Oxford
  • Resources to support you as you support students' learning
  • How Colleges support students
  • The role of Oxford's Proctors and Assessor
  • Working together: University and College appointments
  • Working in the Collegiate University - a College perspective
  • Opportunities to ask questions

Speakers include: a College Senior Tutor, the Director of Student Welfare and Support Services, a former University Proctor, the Director of Human Resources.

Day two: Teaching at Oxford

  • The Vice-Chancellor's Welcome
  • The University’s Education policy
  • The UK Education Environment*: preparing for Higher Education
  • Opportunities to ask questions
  • Overview of teaching at Oxford
  • Break-out discussion groups
    • Teaching on Taught Masters programmes
    • The organisation and practice of undergraduate teaching at Oxford

Speakers include: the Vice-Chancellor, the Director of Education Policy Support, the Head of Student Recruitment, and the Learning Institute’s Educational Development Consultants for Sciences and Social Sciences. Experienced University teachers from a range of subject areas will lead small discipline-focused discussion groups.

Day three: Research and graduate supervision

  • University Policy on Research Supervision
  • How might research on supervision influence your practice?
  • Graduate research student perspectives on supervision (Oxford University Student Union Representative)
  • The UK Research Environment*: funding and conduct of research
  • Oxford’s research achievements
  • Opportunities to ask questions
  • Discussions on supervision practice with a Director of Graduate Studies from your Division

Speakers include: The Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation), the Director of Research Services, the Head of Education Policy Development, Oxford Learning Institute's Head of Research, the Oxford University Student Union Vice-President for Graduates, and experienced Directors of Graduate Studies from each Division.

Please note:

* New appointees who have little or no prior experience of UK Higher Education may find the UK Environment sessions particularly useful. The UK Education Environment will include discussion of how UK schools prepare students for university, and the qualifications with which students commonly begin their studies at Oxford. The UK Research Environment will address funding available for research in the UK and funders' expectations of our researchers.


Book to take part in “Introduction to academic practice at Oxford” via the online IAPO Booking Form.

The IAPO Booking Form provides an option to sign up for Admissions training, including the “Admissions interviewing tutored online course” (compulsory for new staff who expect to be involved in undergraduate admissions) and the optional “Admissions interviewing practice”.

See the Training for admissions interviewing webpage for an explanation of preparation for undergraduate admissions interviewing at Oxford. Links on that webpage will allow you to sign up for (or express interest in) the Admissions training without attending IAPO sessions.