Ms Sarah Cornelius

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

Senior Lecturer

Ms Sarah Cornelius
Ms Sarah Cornelius

Contact Details

work +44 (0)1224 274616
The University of Aberdeen Rm 503 MacRobert Building University of Aberdeen King's College Aberdeen AB24 5UA UK
Office hours: Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday
Twitter: SarahCornelius Skype: sarah.cornelius


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.

My interests are in the effective use of digital technologies in learning, teaching and professional development. Research in this area has resulted in over 20 journal article and a co-authored book on strategies for live online learning. I am interested in the opportunities that digital approaches provide for collaboration and boundary crossing to support innovative teaching and learning. My work has contributed to the design of study programmes and professional development of teachers locally and internationally.

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)



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+ 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

Teaching Responsibilities

Current teaching responsbilities:

  • Teaching Qualification (Further Education) - degree and masters level
  • PgCert Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (including eLearning module)
  • MEd, MSc, MRes, EdD and PhD supervision

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


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