University Teaching Programme (UTP)

The University Teaching Programme (UTP) gives you the skills you need to obtain the University Teaching Qualification (UTQ), which is recognized by all Dutch universities as proof of the ability to develop and teach courses at university level.

Who is this programme intended for?

The UTP is intended for teaching staff at universities who have less than five years’ experience of teaching at university level and who do not have a first-level teaching qualification for secondary school teaching. You must do enough teaching during the UTP to make two video recordings of yourself teaching students and to improve your teaching skills on the basis of the material taught on the programme.

The UTP for teaching staff at Vrije Universiteit is also available in Dutch, see BKO-opleiding for further details.
For teaching staff at universities who have more than five years’ experience of teaching in a university context and/or do have a first-level teaching qualification for secondary school teaching, there are also other UTQ variants available, see University Teaching Qualification (UTQ).


The UTP consists of three components:

  • Teaching Practice
    You will expand your teaching repertoire, tune into your own strengths and weaknesses as a lecturer and develop an individual teaching style. You will directly apply what you have learned in your own teaching, and the results will be immediately apparent.
  • Course Design
    You will learn how to design a course or modify an existing one, with the emphasis on justifying the teaching choices you make and on the teaching principles that underlie your choices. You will also be taught valid, reliable methods of assessing student achievement on the course. You will develop a course of your own or modify an existing one. This activity will quickly enable you to experience the added value of what you have learned and inspire you to apply your newly acquired knowledge and skills. 
  • Supervising students
    You analyze your practice as a supervisor of individual or small groups (2-5) of students and during the course meetings you will have the opportunity to practice specific situations. Within the theme of supervising students, emphasis is put on topics such as being able to tailor the supervision style to the needs of the individual student, giving constructive feedback and adequately combining the roles of supervisor and assessor.


The UTP will teach you how to employ active learning techniques, allow you to practise these techniques and to develop or modify one of your own courses. You will receive close supervision from one of the staff developers at the VU Academic Centre for Human Behaviour and Movement and feedback from a member of the teaching staff at your own faculty (your tutor) and from a peer group of UTQ candidates who are taking the UTP alongside you.

The UTP consists of 15 weekly classes (see ‘Practical information’). There is also group work, which allows you and your fellow participants to learn from one another’s experiences. These group sessions will be devoted to work on your own projects. Based on your own teaching practice, you will deliver two final assignments – one on teaching practice and one on course (re)design.

Faculty tutor
A tutor will be involved in the assessment of your assignments. We would advise you to choose an experienced member of teaching staff from your own faculty or department for this purpose. This tutor should preferably already have the UTQ certificate, though this is not absolutely essential. The tutor will fill in the UTQ Assessment Tool on the basis of the assignments you have completed, observation of your teaching and other relevant factors, and will also be present during the assessment interview. Fulfilment of these duties will take approximately three hours in total. When you have found a tutor, you should email him or her the Instructions for the tutor, the UTQ Assessment Tool and the contact details of the staff developer in charge of the programme.

Assessment and final assignments

During the UTP, you will be supervised by a staff developer from the VU Academic Centre for Human Behaviour and Movement and will receive feedback from your tutor and from a peer group of UTQ candidates who are taking the UTP alongside you. At the end of the programme, you will have an assessment interview with your staff developer and your faculty tutor, during which the results of your teaching practice assignment and your course design assignment will be discussed with reference to the criteria laid down in the UTQ Assessment Tool.

If you pass, you will email a number of documents to the UTQ Examination Board as proof that you have mastered the required teaching practice and course design skills. The Examination Board reviews the documents it receives ten times a year. On approval, the UTQ can be registered in the staff database. Members of teaching staff who have successfully completed the programme receive their UTQ certificate at a ceremony held twice a year (in October/November and in March/April) at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. If you are unable to attend the ceremony, the certificate will be sent to your work address.

Contact and practical information

Number and duration of classes15 weekly sessions: 1 full day, 9.30 am - 4 pm, 13 half days.
Total duration of programme more than 6 months: 5 months of group work followed by individual final assignments in own teaching setting.
Date and time of sessionsYou can register for the program that will start in the spring of 2021, but please note that we already have reached the maximum number of participants. This means that your registration will be placed on the waiting list. You can find the schedule here.
Study load150 hours, including 100 hours of independent study.
Staff developerAmrita Das
LocationVU LEARN! Academy
Nieuwe Universiteitsgebouw, 6th floor
De Boelelaan 1111, 1081 HV Amsterdam                                                                                      
PriceTeaching staff at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam: € 75.- (administration costs)
Standard price: € 2,500.- 
RegistrationPlease fill in the UTQ Registration Form. You will receive confirmation of your registration by email. Your staff developer will send you further details shortly before the start of the programme. for information on registration, planning and payment.