Detailed Definitions (Activities)

Bullet points indicate the main activities covered in a given section, but there may be others. Be sure to note exceptions.


This information will be collected under three distinct categories:

1. Undergraduate Taught Programmes (including Foundation Degrees)

2. Postgraduate Taught Programmes

These include

  • All UK award/credit bearing courses (including all Market Priced Courses) 
  • All teaching activities like ESF, Erasmus, Tempus 
  • All teaching levels - Foundation, Undergraduate & Postgraduate (analysed accordingly)
  • Higher education, Further education, Teacher Training, (PGT only) NHS Nursing & Physiotherapy

These involve

  • Holding lectures, seminars, tutorials 
  • Project, workshop and laboratory supervision 
  • Preparing printed, online or practical materials for lectures, tutorials and laboratory classes
  • Course design and preparing materials for an agreed new course 
  • Editing and updating course materials 
  • Organising and visiting placements, fieldwork 
  • Supervision/contact time relating to projects and dissertations; and assessment 
  • Individual contact with students including feedback sessions, personal tutorials and personal tutor meetings (scheduled and office hours), email and other correspondence with students about their learning 
  • Welfare tutoring and other pastoral support activities 
  • Induction meetings 
  • Preparing and marking examination papers, including resits 
  • Oral examinations/vivas 
  • Reading and assessing student dissertations, reading and marking essays and other student work 
  • Invigilation of examinations 
  • Revision classes 
  • External examining 

3. Other Teaching

  • Short courses 
  • Non credit/award bearing courses (e.g. Centre for Modern Languages Open Access Cources)
  • Continued Professional Development Courses (CPD)


External Funded Research

External sponsors including Research Councils, UK Charities, European Union & Others

For all the above:

  • Research is to include research and experimental development 
  • Fieldwork, laboratory, studio, classroom work 
  • Management of projects, informal discussions, progress reports etc. 
  • Recruitment and supervision of research staff 
  • Attendance at conferences, seminars and society meetings that are directly connected with specific research projects 
  • Production of research reports, papers, books 
  • Collaboration with other departments or institutions in any of the above 

Outreach where research is the underlying activity; Teaching Company Scheme

Institution/Own Funded Research

  • Institution/own funded or HEFCE funded work where there is no external sponsor commissioning the work 
  • Activities as in Research Councils, whether identified as projects or not, including speculative research undertaken to investigate the potential of ideas before preparing grant or contract bids; or for publication

Institute Own Funded Research should have, or should be expected to lead to a research output.

Training and Supervision of Postgraduate Research Students

  • Training and supervision of Postgraduate Research students including training in research methodology, review of drafts and preparation of thesis, and external examining

Other Activities

  • Activities other than Teaching, Research or Support. 
  • DO NOT include long-term sickness and holidays, sabbaticals or maternity leave under this heading. See FAQ for additional guidance.

Consultancy and Other Services

  • Consultancy (excluding private) i.e. that is contracted to the institution and carried out in institution time, including advisory work, journal editing, feasibility studies 
  • Continuing education (i.e CPD) should be classified as Other Teaching 
  • Work carried out through trading units/commercial companies that is not Teaching or Research 
  • Technology transfer work if remunerated through the university (e.g. directorships of start-up companies and/or consultancy contracts for the companies). (If not remunerated then use Support for Other) 
  • Outreach (where the outreach activity is not Teaching or Research)

Clinical Services

  • Services provided to the NHS under "Knock For Knock" arrangements with the Medical and Dental Services. 
  • "Knock For Knock" is a term to reflect the interdependent relationship between the NHS and HEIs. 
    • Clinical Academics provide patients services to the NHS, under contract, through local arrangements or as identified under job plans
    • NHS Clinicians provide teaching sessions to HEIs
  • No formal cross-charging exists for these arrangements on the basis that the presumption is that across the NHS as a whole the net effect is neutral (both NHS/HEIs receive the same level of service). This does not mean that in an individual arrangement between an NHS Trust and a HEI there is not an imbalance in the services provided and received.
  • The costs and bureaucracy of implementing a charging regime would be onerous and not provide any additional benefit. 
  • Clinical Services are services provided to patients in the NHS.  There may also be some teaching of students involved at the same time but it is not the principal activity being undertaken and therefore should not be recorded as teaching.


Support for Teaching (Teaching-Related Administration)

This information will be collected under three distinct categories

1. Undergraduate Taught Programmes ( including Foundation Degrees )

2. Postgraduate Taught Programmes

3. Other Teaching

  • Timetabling 
  • Processing and consideration of module evalution by students 
  • Considering and planning associated with national student surveys (NSS, PTES, ISB) 
  • Attending examination boards 
  • Teaching quality assurance processes, including processing and consideration of external examiners’ reports, Annual Review, VC review 
  • Preparation for and participation in formal Accreditation visits 
  • Preparing and processing examinations and assessments, including mark entry 
  • Preparing prospectuses, applicant visit days, open days 
  • Iinterviewing taught students, admissions and induction 
  • University, College and School level committees, Boards of Studies and fora related to teaching 
  • Attendance at misconduct , FtP, disciplinary and Appeals committees related to students’ progress and behaviour 
  • Schools liaison 
  • Attendance monitoring of students, including for UKBA purposes 
  • Initial course development (where the future of the course is not certain; preparing materials for an agreed new course is Teaching) 
  • Outreach activities 
  • Teaching Scholarship / Professional Development and other Support (which are covered below) such as: 
    •  Writing books and other publications for teaching purposes 
    • Advancement of knowledge and skills related to teaching 
    • Peer observation of teaching 
    • Secondment to/academic exchanges with other universities for teaching activities 
    • Publicity for teaching facilities and opportunities. 
    • Attendance at external events related to university education 
    • CPD, including PCAP and other training in teaching

Support for Research

  • Interviewing research students, admissions and induction 
  • Drafting and redrafting proposals for new work and supporting bids to external bodies where bids involve a significant amount of speculative research, that element can be attributed to Research) 
  • Refereeing papers 
  • Research Scholarship / Professional Development and other Support to Research (which are covered below) such as: 
    •  Advancement of knowledge and skills related to Research 
    • Unpaid work advising government departments or committees, professional bodies or agencies in relation to research matters 
    • Institute and department committee work supporting Research 
    • Block time in other institutions on research exchange schemes 
    • Publicity for research facilities and opportunities.

Support for Other

  • Drafting and re-drafting proposals for new work and supporting bids to external bodies for consultancy and other services rendered activities (where bids involve a significant amount of speculative research, that element can be attributed to Research) 
  • Negotiating contract terms and conditions with external bodies 
  • Technology transfer work that is not private, nor remunerated through the institution (e.g. supporting patent applications, licence negotiations, formation of start-up companies)

Management and Administration

  • Membership of/participation at school boards, senate, institution committees etc. 
  • Management duties such as deans, head of admissions, assistant deans etc. 
  • Staff management; appraisal etc. 
  • Publicity; representative work on behalf of the institution or department 
  • Careers advice 
  • Information returns 
  • Quality assurance

Professional Development and Scholarship

  • Maintenance and advancement of own personal knowledge and skills (reading literature, attending professional conferences, maintaining professional or clinical skills, acquiring new skills etc.) 
  • Consultancy that is carried out in an institute’s normal working hours, in agreement with the institution, but is not for the institution, i.e., private consultancy in institutional time - e.g. maintenance and development of clinical or professional skills 
  • Clinical services provided under knock-for-knock arrangements are NOT to be recorded here, but as described in Clinical Services. 
  • Private consultancy, carried out in private time - is not to be included here (or anywhere).

Contribution to the Sector and Economy as a Whole

  • (Unpaid) committees 
  • Secondments to REF panels


Professional Services