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Experiential learning exists in different formats in STEM Higher Education programmes. However, the informal, experiential learning dimensions are often not fully integrated and recognised, even though they play a key role in enriching student learning, employability and career progression.

Greater recognition of experiential learning has the potential to:

  • reduce student workload
  • shorten programmes
  • encourage greater industry and third-sector involvement
  • offer broader opportunities to embrace learning beyond the classroom
  • provide more flexibility and individualisation.  



The project team will use a range of research methods including:

  • a desktop analysis of current institutional policies for experiential learning
  • a sector questionnaire, employer sandpits, and case study submissions to seek best examples of flexible approaches of capturing and recognising experiential learning
  • focus groups and semi-structured interviews with students, employers and university staff to:
      • examine holistic educational benefits from apprenticeships of experiential learning
      • identify effective institutional and programme approaches for maximising the student experience and learning.


    This project will lead to the development of a toolkit to provide practical guidance and best practice on how providers can best integrate experiential learning within STEM programmes to enhance the student experience. 

    The toolkit will consist of good practice examples, guidance on policy and practice for embedding experiential learning within programme design, tips on development and delivery, and a self-assessment tool for users to measure how far experiential learning has been embraced. 

    The project team will host a range of dissemination activities to take QAA members through the new resources and establish a community of practice for staff involved in the planning and delivery of degree and graduate apprenticeship programmes to keep in touch and work collaboratively and innovatively in this field.


    University of Warwick


    Aston University, Glasgow Caledonian University and University of Strathclyde

    Other Collaborative Enhancement Projects

    QAA supports a number of projects every year, covering a range of topics and interest areas. Each is led by a QAA Member, working in collaboration with other members institutions. You can find more information on all projects, and access resources and outputs, on our website.