Dr Nigel Beacham

Dr Nigel Beacham

Senior Lecturer (Scholarship)

Dr Nigel Beacham
Dr Nigel Beacham

Contact Details

work +44 (0)1224 273878
fax +44 (0) 1224 273 422
The University of Aberdeen Room 220 Department of Computing Science Meston Building King's College Aberdeen AB24 3UE +44 (0) 1224 273 878


Dr Beacham is a Senior Lecturer within the Department of Computing Sciences. Previous to this he was a Research Fellow for the Inclusive Practice Project within the School of Education at the University of Aberdeen for 3 years. He has over 20 years experience carrying out research into the design, implementation and evaluation of e-learning systems and user interfaces of educational technologies.

He began his research career working as a Research Assistant for the Teesside Business School researching the development and use of intelligent tutoring systems for educating trainee accountants. He then went on the work for the Geography Department at the University of Leicester developing and research e-learning systems for Geographers. He then worked for nine years for Loughborough University in a number of departments developing and research e-learning systems as part of undergraduate, postgraduate and continue professional development programmes, until moving to his current post at the University  of Aberdeen.

He has particular expertise in Human-Computer Interaction, Assistive Technologies, and Specific Learning Difficulties such as dyslexia and dyscalculia. His research interests include the computer science education, inclusive education, and educational technology. He has a BSc in Computer Science, an MSc in Human Computer Interaction, and has completed a PhD on the subject of Distributed Performance Support Systems. He has published numerous papers about his research within international peer-reviewed journals and at conferences.


Research Interests

Dr Beacham's research interests include:

  • Computer Science Education and Human-Computer Interaction aspects of E-learning
  • E-Pedagogies for Inclusion, Digital Inclusion within Schools, Colleges and Higher Education
  • Specific learning difficulties (such as dyslexia) and assistive technologies
  • Distributed Performance Support Systems and Computer-Based Training

Current Research

Dr Beacham is currently investigating the role inclusive education and practices can play in the development of cloud-based security systems. In parallel to this work he is studying NQTs' e-pedagogies for inclusion. Both streams of work provide ongoing findings for informing future policy and practice in the areas of inclusive education and digital inclusion.


Dr Beacham is currently working with colleagues as part of the Part Time and Short Cycle Higher Education (PT&SCHE) project.

He is a member of the SQA Technology Industry Board and an external examiner for the University of Staffordshire.



Research Grants

Dr Beacham was awarded a grant of the project 'Developing NQTs E-Pedagogies for Inclusion' which is a partnership between the PICTAL research group, Inclusive Practice project and the Higher Education Academy Subject Centre ESCalate.



Teaching Responsibilities

Dr Beacham is currently teaching on the following courses:

  • Web Application Development (CS1025 and CS1525: undergraduate and CS1026 and CS1524: distance learning)
  • Advanced Web Application Development (CS2012 and CS2512: undergraduate and CS2514 and CS2514: distance learning)
  • Data Management (CS2015: undergraduate)
  • Database Systems and Big Data (CS5097: postgraduate and CS5098 distance learning)
  • Information Security (CS5099: postgraduate and CS50AH distance learning)
  • Evaluation of AI Systems (CS5063: postgraduate on-campus)
  • Human Computer Interaction (CS2506: undergraduate, CS5541: postgraduate and CS5586 distance learning)

Dr Beacham also currently supervises student projects:

  • Software Engineering and Professional Issues (CS3028: undergraduate)
  • Single and Joint Honours Computing Projects (CS4526: undergraduate)
  • MSc in Information Technology (CS5942: postgraduate)
  • MSc Projects in Artificial Intelligence (CS5917: postgraduate)
  • Business and Industry Applications of IT (CS3901: undergraduate)

Past responsibilities for teaching included:

  • Tools for Science (TS1002: undergraduate)
  • Information Technology (CS1017: undergraduate)
  • Advanced Web Application Development (CS2509: undergraduate)
  • Software Quality Assurance and Control Technology (CS5569: postgraduate)
  • Introduction to Database Systems (CS5035: postgraduate and CS5070 distance learning)
  • Web Technology (CS1518: undergraduate, CS5548: postgraduate and CS5574: distance learning)
  • System Analysis and Design (CS5037: postgraduate and CS5071 distance learning))
  • Advanced MSc Projects (CS5950: postgraduate)



Further Info

External Responsibilities

Dr Beacham is one of the main authors and developers of DyslexSim – A pack of photocopiable materials for raising awareness about dyslexia which includes activities and a simulation of visual difficulties associated with dyslexia on CD ROM. (on sale through iANSYST Ltd. from March 2005).

He is also one of the main authors and developers of Dyscalculium – A screening tool for adults with dyscalculia (https://shop.tribalgroup.co.uk/vmchk/Assessment-screening/DyscalculiUM.html).

He is a referee for the peer-reviewed Journal of Interactive Learning Research (http://www.aace.org/pubs/jilr/default.htm) published by AACE.


Admin Responsibilities

Current Duties

He is the course coordinator for the following courses:

  • Web Application Development (CS1025/CS1026 and CS1525/CS1524)
  • Data Management (CS2015)
  • Database Systems and Big Data (CS5097/CS5098)
  • Human Computer Interaction (CS2506 and CS5541/CS5586)

He is also a Postgraduate Academic Manager for the School of Natural and Computing Sciences and Department of Computing Science.

Past Duties

Dr Beacham was the Postgraduate Director for Teaching and Learning within the School of Natural and Computing Sciences (2017-18) and Director for Postgraduate Teaching within the Department of Computing Science (2012-18). His duties included:

  • chair of the departmental Staff-Student Laison Committee
  • chair of the departmental Teaching and Learning Committee
  • chair of the departmental internal and external exam board
  • member of the PG Committee (Taught)
  • member of the PGT Engagments and Communications Group
  • member of the School Teaching and Learning Committee

He was the admissions tutor for the advanced MSc programmes, i.e. Artificial Intelligence and for the conversion MSc programme, i.e. Information Technology.

Past admin responsibilities included Web content manager for the Department of Computing Science and course co-ordinator for the following courses:

  • TS1002: Tools for Science
  • Information Technology (CS1017 and KL107S)
  • Advanced Web Application Development (CS2509, CS2012 and CS2512)
  • Software Quality Assurance and Control Technology (CS5569: postgraduate)
  • Systems Analysis and Design (CS5037/CS5071)
  • Advanced MSc Project (CS5950)