Recently, within the higher education system in the United Kingdom, there has been close examination of the way institutions teach and assess students. This scrutiny has been intensified by central government with the proposed introduction of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF). The anticipated TEF demands that higher education institutions evaluate their teaching and learning practices and think of new ways to develop excellent student experience. Self-determined learning has resurfaced as a popular approach in the higher education sector. At the centre of self-determined learning is the concept of heutagogy. This approach enables the student to apply what they have learned in an education setting and relate it to the workplace. The aim of this paper is to critically explore the theoretical framework behind the self-determined learning approach. The authors of this paper argue that, from a social science perspective, a determined learning approach is in the best place to provide a contemporary, exciting teaching and learning experience in a competitive higher education market.