Education Research and Scholarship

As a department, we strive to provide optimised teaching and learning environments to support our students, ensuring an outstanding student learning experience is sustained across our on campus and online programmes.

This approach drives high-quality education research and scholarship to ensure our practice, learning platforms, practical activities, graduate attributes, employability skills, and assessment methods are research-informed.

Our ethos to education research and scholarship is also directed externally, to support our various stakeholders, partners, and the wider public. For example, we actively collaborate with school teachers to support their pedagogy and practice and also deliver research-informed science communication.

Education-based research is embedded into the operation of our dedicated teaching school and is supported by dedicated teaching-focused academic members of staff.

Research areas

Education for Sustainable Development

The Education for Sustainable Development: Agents for Change (ESDAC) programme provides an over-arching framework and directive to align education practice and learning environments to the 17 UN sustainable development goals. This ensures our community of scholars and learners become agents of change, and realise active contributions and impacts across the 4-dimensions of sustainable development, shaping graduates and scholars as discipline-led educators and global citizens.

For more information contact Dr Lorraine Gibson van Mil:

Pedagogy and Practice

Development of modern, innovative, and creative programmes that deliver teaching platforms and assessment methods that critically align with intended learning outcomes.

Sustaining and enhancing high-quality accredited programmes by co-creation and inclusive design of modules and assessment, The Royal Society of Chemistry has funded our investigation into the impact of mental health in undergraduate laboratories through the WELLChem project. We are also interested in diagnosing and ameliorating misconceptions in science education.

Example publications

Careers Education

Within the department, we focus on the development of graduate attributes, employability skills, and student career pathways. We also have an interest in the career pathways of high school students and have been funded by the Royal Society of Chemistry to deliver several projects in this area, such as ChemDiverse and ChemSTEP.

Example publications

Science Communication and Outreach

Many of our staff are dedicated outreach and communication enthusiasts, but we also disseminate our innovative practices to the wider academic community.

Example publications


Research interests

Dr Lorraine Gibson van Mil
  • Education for sustainable development - developing global citizens
  • Inclusive and accessible teaching and learning
  • Outstanding student experience through education enhancement and innovative/creative teaching practice, co-creation of curricula, and assessment
  • Online learning platforms
  • Development of graduate attributes and employability skills
Dr Fraser Scott
  • Numeracy in science education
  • Enhancing Equality, Diversity, and inclusion in science education
  • Understanding and improving the learning of career pathways
  • Higher Education, Secondary Education, and Primary Education
Dr Patrick Thomson
  • Guided inquiry in practical chemistry education
  • Understanding and reducing anxiety and mental health in the laboratory
  • Supporting the transition from secondary to tertiary education
Dr Felicity Carlysle-Davies
  • Inclusive and accessible teaching, learning, and assessment – particularly in practical-based curricula
  • Decolonising the curriculum in science-based subjects
Dr Donna Ramsay
  • Development of graduate attributes
  • Education for sustainable development
Dr Brian McMillan
  • Education enhancement in practical laboratories
  • Careers skills development using industry-led and in-house placements
Dr Sarah Walker
  • Development of student employability skills
  • Enhancing curricula through industrial involvement
  • Exploring and addressing barriers to participation in UK chemistry undergraduate study
Professor Debbie Willison
  • Student transitions and resilience
  • Student employability
  • Education for sustainability
  • Personal development planning
  • Widening participation
  • Peer support networks
  • Digital Education
Dr Lewis MacKenzie
  • Data-driven analysis of science communication via new media (e.g. podcasts)