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[4] 12pm: Roundtable: Expertise in Doctoral Studies: A conversation between PGR students and Supervisors. 


  • Nicholas Ellsworth, Fiona Leggat, Sunita Keari, Ciara Everard (Postgraduate research students, St Mary’s University)
  • Ross Wadey, Programme Director MSc Applied Sport Psychology, St Mary’s University
  • Michelle Paull, Senior Lecturer in Drama, St Mary’s University.


What is expertise for PGR students, and how does it vary between students and their academic team? This roundtable will examine how PGR students define and gain expertise, and apply it to their studies; including expertise in research, project management, and the role of the supervisor in PGR studies and what expertise they have, and want to instill in their students. Participants will gain an insight in how expertise during the PhD process evolves and transfers during the close relationship between student and mentor, and how this provides an academic framework for post-doctoral endeavors. This session will be of interest to experienced and new or aspiring supervisors, PhD students, and those interested in pursuing doctoral studies in future. 

[5a] 12pm: Workshop: Polishing the lens: Dual Professionalism and the Future of HE Lecturing.


  • Geoffrey Hughes, Academic and Professional Development Consultant, De Montfort University.


This workshop will take lecturers on a journey of reflection and change the dynamic around professional development. This will be interactive and provide sustainable techniques to apply across any discipline. 

Reflection is a crucial part of modern day practice and an ever growing assets in the toolkit of modern Lecturers. A recent study conducted with my own showed that new Lecturers reflect on average 30 minutes a week. This is not enough. It’s time to create the room and give colleagues the space to reflect and develop their practice. As Dual professionals we need to be at the cutting edge of both academic practice and at the forefront of our discipline. 

The workshop will take staff on a reflective journey to understand their development goals, needs and how these align with the requirements of Generation Z students and beyond. This aligns with both the concept of knowing and shaping your own educational pathway whilst also integrating with the notion of ways that we acquire and reshape our own professional expertise through teaching experiences, critical self-reflection and academic CPD. We will explore how to develop your own reflective model that suits your practice and your academic needs for sustainable development. There will be plenty of take away tips to ensure your practice is ready for the demands of the future and beyond.  

[5b] 12.30pm: The Simulated Work Placement: A new way to increase student employability.


  • Lucy Steptoe, Lecturer, Centre for Workplace Learning, Employability Services, St Mary’s University
  • Maxine Edwards, Student Placement Lead, Employability Services, St Mary’s University
  • Lucy Kenny, St Mary’s University student (BA Education and Social Science) 


The Simulated Work Placement was developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as an alternative placement experience by which students could engage in real-life online employability activities in the absence of participating in a face to face placement. It was collaboratively developed by the Centre for Workplace Learning lecturers, Placement Officers, Careers Consultants, and local businesses, and was offered to St Mary’s Level 5 and 6 students throughout the 20/21 academic year. The SWP was created using the St Mary’s Curriculum Framework and desired Graduate Attributes and was mapped against typical real-life placement experiences to ensure consistency. The students were set weekly tasks over their 10-week placement which were tailored to their interests and career paths and designed to build their employability. They had the opportunity to test out the ‘new normal’ through working online and reporting to a ‘virtual boss’ whilst completing a variety of real-life challenges.  

This presentation seeks to explain how and why the SWP was developed and how we used our collaborative expertise to support our diverse community of students through a particularly challenging time. We will outline some of the highlights of the offering and hopefully inspire colleagues to think creatively about ways in which they can further develop employability in their students. Importantly, we will also address the student reaction to the SWP, the challenges we’ve faced along the way and our plans for improving the offering in the future.