Dr Rachel Shanks

Dr Rachel Shanks

Senior Lecturer

I am currently accepting PhDs in Education.

Dr Rachel Shanks
Dr Rachel Shanks

Contact Details


I have worked in higher education, community education, and the voluntary and trade union sectors. In higher education I have been a law lecturer, worked in the University of Aberdeen’s former Centre for Lifelong Learning and I am currently a Senior Lecturer in Education.

In the late 1990s I led the Trade Union Congress partnership project Bargaining for Skills, in the East and West Midlands regions in England, working with trade unions, employers, colleges and Training and Enterprise Councils. I have also been an adult education tutor and worked for the National Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux (NACAB) and Aberdeen CAB.


PhD, Education University of Aberdeen 2012
Cert., Adult and Community Learning University of Aberdeen 2011
MA, Legal Studies (by research) University of Leeds 1992
LL.B. (Hons), Law University of Leeds 1990

Memberships and Affiliations


Prizes and Awards

Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence (Advance HE)

Teaching Qualification Further Education/ BA Professional Development Team, 2021


Research Areas

Please get in touch if you would like to discuss your research ideas further.

Email Me

Research Overview

Professional learning and mentoring covering both formal and informal learning.
Children and young people's rights combine my legal and community work background and my interest in social justice.

Current Research

Professional learning

Co-Investigator of Measuring Quality in Initial Teacher Education (MQuITE)


University students mentoring school students

Children's Rights

Young people and participation in decision-making

School uniform, dress code and appearance policies. 


My current supervision areas are: Education.

Current PhD Students

Completed PhDs

2021 Annette Moir - Exploration of children’s awareness of their coping strategies and enhancement of their resilience skills

2020 David Di Domenico - Educators' views, experiences and approaches to cultural diversity: understanding pre-registration adult nursing education at a Scottish university 

2020 Maryam Alnoaimi - Citizenship Education in the Kingdom of Bahrain: A case study exploring perceptions of school principals, senior teachers, teachers and students

2019 Ramona Statache - Business Social Media Use by Remote Rural Micro Tourism Enterprises in the Scottish Highlands

2019 Madhawi Alharbi - Using Mobile Games in Teaching English as a Foreign Language Vocabulary at a Saudi Female High School

2019 Khanchai Wongchana - Thai University Student and Teacher Perceptions of Studying Tourism through English Using a CLIL Approach

2017 David Johnston - A Socio-Cultural Perspective on 'Belonging'

2017 Geraldine Prince - Art-Making and the Interpretation of Cultures: Cross-cultural teaching and learning in Edinburgh and Dubai

Research Funding and Grants

Principal Investigator of BERA COVID-19 research: New teachers’ responses to COVID-19: building on Initial Teacher Education for their professional learning.

Co-Investigator of Measuring Quality of Initial Teacher Education (MQuITE) in Scotland funded by the Scottish Government 2017-



Teaching Responsibilities

Course Co-ordinator for:

SX1011 Sustainability: Challenges and Opportunities

ED1521 Learning from Work

ED505P Using NVivo for Qualitative Data Analysis

Non-Course Teaching Responsibilities

Personal tutor



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