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Teaching Awards

St Mary’s University awards an annual prize in recognition of the contribution of staff to enhancing the student learning experience by developing creative and/or innovative approaches to learning, teaching and/or assessment. It may be awarded to an individual or a team.

The aim of the prize is to recognise and reward outstanding achievement and innovation. The prize consists of a sum of £1,000.


Applications will be evaluated against the following criteria:

  • Distinctiveness/innovation. How unique is the initiative at St Mary’s? How will the initiative enhance teaching and learning at St Mary’s? What will be the measures of successful enhancement?
  • Effectiveness. How effective has the initiative been? What evidence is there to support this? (e.g. student feedback, module evaluation data, other survey data, attainment data).
  • Potential for institutional impact. How will the initiative influence practice in other disciplines/programme areas/institutions?
  • Alignment with scholarship. How has scholarship influenced the development and/or implementation of the initiative?
  • Alignment with University and sector priorities. How does the initiative align with current institutional priorities e.g. retention, the BAME attainment gap, inclusive and research-informed teaching, the UK Professional Standards Framework and current developments in the Higher Education sector?

Application Process 

All members of staff are eligible.

To apply, complete the application form and submit to by 5pm on Monday 9th May 2022. Please make sure you have aligned your application with the five criteria listed above.

Walpole Prize -Application Form 2021-22

Presentation to the Award Panel

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to make a 10 minute presentation of their work to the Award Panel, followed by questions. Although the merits of each proposal will be judged chiefly in terms of the criteria stated above, the nature of the actual presentation will also be taken into account when making the final decision.

Henry Walpole (1558-95)

The prize has been named after one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales who included teaching among his mission related activities. Henry Walpole (1558-95) was born at Docking in Norfolk and educated at Norwich Grammar School, at Peterhouse, Cambridge, and at Gray’s Inn. He is said to have joined the Catholic Church as a consequence of the martyrdom of Edmund Campion, in whose honour he wrote and secretly printed a long narrative poem. He entered the English College, Rome, in 1583 but joined the Society of Jesus in 1584. In spite of poor health he was ordained a priest in Paris 1588, served as chaplain to the Spanish army in the Netherlands, and then taught in the English seminaries in Seville and Valladolid. From King Philip II of Spain he obtained a charter which authorised the establishment of the English College at Saint-Omer. In 1593 he returned to England, landing at Bridlington on the 6th December, but was arrested the very next day at Kelham on suspicion of being a priest. He was interrogated at York, transferred to the Tower of London where he was tortured fourteen times in two months, and as a result lost the use of his fingers. He was indicted at York under the Act which made it high treason for an Englishman ordained abroad to minister in England, and was condemned to death. He was executed at York on the 7th April 1595 and was canonised by Paul VI in 1970 as one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales. His Feast Day is the 25th October.