Ms Sarah Cornelius

Ms Sarah Cornelius
BSc, MRes, MSc, PGCE (Further, Higher and Adult Education), DIC, SFHEA

Senior Lecturer

I am currently accepting PhDs in Education.

Ms Sarah Cornelius
Ms Sarah Cornelius

Contact Details


I am interested in the opportunities that digital approaches provide for collaboration and boundary crossing to support innovative teaching, learning and professional development of educators, particularly those in the Further Education sector. My work has contributed to the design of study programmes and professional development of educators locally and internationally. Research in this area has resulted in over 20 journal articles and a co-authored book on strategies for live online learning. I have also participated in several European partnership projects addressing effective preparation of teachers, issues of inclusion and digital practice.

Since joining the University of Aberdeen in 2004 I have contributed to a range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in the School of Education. I have been Programme Director for the TQFE (Teaching Qualification for Further Education) and Director of Postgraduate Programmes (in this role overseeing the redesign of Masters provision across the School). I have also made significant contributions to online and digital projects across the University, including the development of FutureLearn MOOCs and online strategy.

I am co-author of an internationally successful textbook on Geographical Information Systems, having previously held posts in GIS at Manchester Metropolitan University and the Free University of Amsterdam. I also have extensive experience of distance learning, gained through tutoring for the UK Open University, as a freelance Consultant in Online and Distance Learning, and as a distance and online learner.


Memberships and Affiliations


Project Lead - University of Aberdeen's FutureLearn MOOCs (2014-2017)

Director of Postgraduate Studies (School of Education) (2012-2014)

Elected staff representative for School of Education on University Senate (2012-2016)

Programme Director - Teaching Qualification for Further Education (2017-2019)

Programme Director - Work Based Projects and Dissertations (2011-2016)

School of Education e-Learning Champion

Member - University of Aberdeen Continuous Professional Development (CPD) Recognition Panel (leading to Higher Education Academy accreditation)


External examiner, Edinburgh Napier University (PGCert LTAP) (2020-present)

External examiner, University of Huddersfield (Teacher Training: In-service Lifelong Learning) (2014-18)

Member of Editorial Board, Research in Learning Technology

Co-chair ALTC 2014 21st Annual Conference of the Association for Learning Technology, September 1-3 2014, University of Warwick. (with Linda Creanor, Glasgow Caledonian University and Joe Wilson, Independent Consultant)


Prizes and Awards

2010 Scottish e-assessment awards: Innovation award for SMS Disaster Simulation and Best Poster Prize (voted by 250 delegates) with Alastair Gemmell (School of Geosciences) and Phil Marston (School of Education)

2012 4th International Conference on Computer Supported Education (Porto, Portugal): Best paper award for 'Effective teaching with web conferencing: recommendations based on learners' experiences' co-authored with Carole Gordon (School of Education)


Research Areas

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

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  • Adult Education Teaching
  • Post Compulsory Education and Training
  • Professional Practice In Education

Our research specialisms are based on the Higher Education Classification of Subjects (HECoS) which is HESA open data, published under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International

Research Overview

Research interests

  • Vocational teacher training
  • Professional learning and development
  • Learners’ and teachers’ experiences of digital learning
  • Inclusive and innovative digital practice
  • Professional learning through boundary crossing

Current and recent funded projects

  • ERASMUS+ RAPIDE: Reimaging a postive direction for education (2021-2023) 
  • ERASMUS+ PROMISE: Promoting inclusion in society through education: professional dilemmas in practice (2018-2021)
  • ERASMUS+ MINE: Mobile learning in higher education (2015-2019)
  • ERASMUS+ PROLEA: Professional learning through reflection and portfolios (2014-2018)
  • ESRC Sharing all our stories
  • Aberdeenshire Council: Mobile devices in Schools


My current supervision areas are: Education.

Current PhD students

  • Shahrzad Ardavani (Elphinstone Scholar) - Cultural aspects of MOOCs
  • David McCusker - Educating prisoners for self-employment
  • Chris Gray - Community music

Completed education PhD students

  • Khawla Addoweesh - Assessment of online discussions
  • Yvonne Bain - A framework for online discussions
  • Chris Fraser - Professional development in science

Teaching Responsibilities

Current and recent teaching responsbilities:

  • Teaching Qualification Further Education (TQFE) - degree and masters level (online and blended modes)
    • Successful Learing in Further Education
    • Change and Innovation in Further Education
  • PgCert Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (including eLearning module)
  • MEd, MSc, MRes, EdD and PhD supervision (including work based projects)


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