Professor Graeme Nixon
Professor Graeme Nixon

Professor Graeme Nixon

MA, BD, PGCE, PHd, Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Personal Chair

Accepting PhDs


Room 523 School of Education University of Aberdeen MacRobert Building 5th Floor King's College Aberdeen AB24 5UA t: +44 (0)1224 274644 e:


MA Philosophy (University of Edinburgh) 1987-1990

BD Ecclesiastical History (University of Glasgow) 1991-1994

PGCE Religious Education (University of Strathclyde) 1994-1995

Teacher and Principal teacher of RMPS 1995-2005

PHd (University of Aberdeen) 2012


  • Mindfulness
  • Hillwalking
  • Rugby
  • Cricket


  • PhD The Emergence of Philosophy in Scottish Secondary School Religious Education 
    2012 - University of Aberdeen 
  • PGCE Secondary Religious Education 
    1994 - University of Strathclyde 
  • BD Ecclesiastical History 
    1993 - University of Glasgow 
    Honours 1st Class
  • MA Philosophy 
    1991 - University of Edinburgh 

Memberships and Affiliations

Internal Memberships

Programme Director MSc Studies in Mindfulness

Course co-ordinator for Mindfulness

Course co-ordinator for Compassion

Course co-ordinator for Insight

Subject leader for all RME/RMPS inputs across MA and PGDE programmes

Course co-ordinator for MA1 Global Perspectives on Education course

Course co-ordinator for MA2 Belief Matters course

Tutor on Thinking Skills elective courses within PGDE and BEd programmes

CPD co-ordinator for RME/RMPS and thinking skills

External Memberships

External Examiner for Queen's University Belfast 2021-ongoing (PGCE Religious Education and English)

External Examiner for University of Coventry 2020-ongoing (MSc Mindfulness and Compassion)

External Examiner for Newman University 2018-21 (PGCE Religious Education)

Reviwer for Journal Religions

Reviewer for Routledge (Publisher)

Peer Reviewer for Springer Journal Mindfulness (Journal)

Peer Reviewer for Religious Education (Journal)

External Examiner for Dublin City University (2016)

Peer Reviewer for Religious Education (Journal)

Key Witness for Commission on Religion and Belief in British Public Life (April 2015, University of Glasgow)

Initial Teacher Education representative on National Forum for RE/RME (2015)

Peer Reviewer for ESRC (2014)

Reviewer for Journal of Language and Intercultural Communication (2013)

Reviewer for Scottish Educational Review (Journal) (2013)

Consultant on Monitoring Standards process for Scottish Qualfications Authority (February 2013)

Member of RME Reference group as part of Education Scotland's Curriculum Impact Project (November 2012)

External Review member for Irish Teaching Council review of St Patrick's Teaching College, Thurles (2012)

Member of editorial review board of Leadership and Policy Quarterly (July 2012)

Writer of RMPS materials for Education Scotland on the Dalai Lama and Aung San Suu Kyi (for senior secondary pupils) (2012) Weblink:  

External Examiner for University of Strathclyde (BEd1 RME, Health and Well-being and electives) (2011-14)

External Review member for Irish Teaching Council review of Mater Dei Institute, Dublin (2011)

Scottish representative on European Forum for Teachers of Religious Education (2010 - present)

Convener of Scottish Joint Comittee for Religious and Moral Education curriculum group (2008 - 2014)

SQA marker for Higher RMPS (2001 - 2015)

Member of Curricular Area Review Group (CARG) for Religious and Moral Education (2010 - 2013)

Writer of subject summary material for CfE review (SQAm 2010)

Writer of exemplar material for Religious Observance review (2007)

External Examiner for RMPS inputs at the University of Edinburgh (2006-2009) 

General Teaching Council (Scotland) member of accreditation team for University of Glasgow (MA in Religous Education) (2005)

Latest Publications

View My Publications

Prizes and Awards

Clelland Rae Medal for Ecclesiastical History, University of Glasgow (1994)

Principal's Awards Nominations 2021 - Best Postgraduate Teacher, Best Undergraduate Teacher, Most Inspiring Teacher and Contribution to Blended Learning. Shortlisted for best Postgraduate Teacher

Winner of Principal's Excellence Award 2021

Excellence Nomination 2022 - Best Postgraduate Teacher


Research Overview

  • The Emergence of Philosophy in Religious Education
  • Secularisation and education
  • The impact of faculty management structures on secondary schools
  • Faith education
  • Comparative studies in Religious Education
  • Thinking skills approaches in schools
  • Mindfulness in education
  • Religious Observance in Scottish education
  • Mindfulness; secular and/or spiritual?
  • The sanitisation of religion in education
  • Using e-portfolios in initial teacher education

Research Areas

Accepting PhDs

I am currently accepting PhDs in Education, Philosophy.

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

Email Me


Accepting PhDs


Accepting PhDs

Religious Studies

Research Specialisms

  • Religious Studies
  • Education Studies
  • Religion in Society
  • Education Policy

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 licence.

Current Research

PhD (completion Sept 2011); what factors have influenced the emergence of philosophy in Scottish secondary school Religious Education?

Mindfulness in Schools

The student and probationer experience of faculty style management structures in Scottish secondary schools

Mindfulness and reflective teaching

Mindfulness as secular analogue for religious experience in the Religious Education classroom

The conscience clause and Religious Education. How often are children withdrawn and why?

Mindfulness in Contexts(s); the perfect storm for mindfulness?

Religious Education in an age of Diversity (READY): European project looking at preparation for teachers of Religious Education in multiuple jurisdictions and how facilitate safe dialogic space in the RE classroom

Schools and the santising of religion

Past Research

See list of publications

Knowledge Exchange

Various CPD events for academics, businesses and teachers on thinking skills, Religious Education and Mindfulness

Media engagement - BBC Scotland and BBC Radio 4 appearances discussing mindfulness (2018, 2019)

Part of consortium presenting at the Scottish Parliament (2019) to launch the Mindful Nation Scotland initiative


Erasmus Plus project Religious Education and Diversity (READY) is a three year European Union project involving universities of Aberdeen, UCL, Karlstadt, Vienna and Tuebingen, as well as the Comenius Institute. This project aims to develop approaches to teaching about and training for dealing diversity in classrooms.

Currently collaborating with Dr Jo Pearce at University College London on a series of papers about the sanitising of religion in schools; qualifications for Religious Education teaching, and purpose of Religious Education.


My current supervision areas are: Education, Philosophy.

PhD Students

Heather Bond - Mindfulness and Compassion with adolescents

Clayton Micallef - The Adverse effects of Mindfulness

Alison Speakman - Lineages of Secular Mindfulness

Fiona Brannigan - Mindfulness and the Strategic Development Goals

Louise Haynes - Developing thinking skills in schools for the Internet Age

Sara Kadir - Mindfulness and Islam

Moira Godfrey - Mindfulness and Inclusion

Susan Brimmer - Online Working and Flourishing

Jennifer Obbard - Nature Connection, Wilderness and Micro-Phenomenology

MSc Students

Currently I am working with 12 MSc students looking at various applications of mindfulness and related concepts in fields such as creativity, higher education, inclusion training, secondary schools, treatment for addiction recovery and mindful eating.


Funding and Grants


Award holder(s)

Funding body


Indicate if you are the Principal Applicant or a Co Applicant

Total Value of award

Applicant contribution (if appropriate)


Erasmus Plus READY consortium

European Union

Religious Education and Diversity





Graeme Nixon

Scottish Joint Committee for Religious and Moral Education

Withdrawal from Religious Education research

Principal Applicant




Graeme Nixon

Scottish Government

Religious Observance exemplar materials

Principal Applicnt




Teaching Responsibilities


Currently supervising 6 PhD and 16 Masters students



Programme Director for MSc Programme Studies in Mindfulness (teaching and co-ordinating courses ED505A Mindfulness, ED555B Compassion and ED505L Insight)

Subject leader for all RME/RMPS inputs across MA and PGDE programmes

Course co-ordinator for MA1 ED101B Global Perspectives on Education (mandatory course)

Course co-ordinator MA2 ED251C Belief Matters (mandatory course)

Tutor on Thinking Skills elective courses within PGDE and BEd programmes

CPD co-ordinator for RME/RMPS and thinking skills

Tutor on ED50BA Discovering Mindfulness course




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Books and Reports

Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings

Contributions to Conferences

Contributions to Journals

Contributions to Specialist Publications

Non-textual Forms