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Durham University

School of Education

Research Projects

Dr Nicola Reimann

Assistant Professor in the School of Education
Head of Academic Professional Development in the Durham Centre for Academic Development (DCAD)

Contact Dr Nicola Reimann


Nicola is a lecturer in the Centre for Academic Practice where she teaches on the Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice. She is a qualified school teacher and started her career in higher education in Modern Foreign Languages in a variety of roles and universities (Newcastle University, Sunderland University, Freie Universität Berlin, Open University) before moving into an academic development role. Between 2002 and 2005 she was a Research Fellow at Durham University on the ESRC funded Enhancing Teaching-Learning Environments in Undergraduate Courses (ETL) Project ( which involved her in conducting initial research on threshold concepts, working with Jan Meyer and Ray Land. Prior to joining Durham for the second time, Nicola worked at Northumbria University where she was part of the Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning Assessment for Learning (CETL AfL) team, led postgraduate modules and programmes for both early career academics and experienced higher education staff, supervised doctoral students as well as leading Northumbria’s Professional Recognition Scheme accredited by the Higher Education Academy. Nicola is committed to research which is of direct relevance to higher educational practice and policy and enjoys working in partnership with academics, engaging them with and through educational research and scholarship of teaching and learning. Her recent research focuses on the ways in which academics understand assessment, the relationship between their thinking and their practice, and their development over time, experimenting with dialogic concept mapping as a novel way of investigating understanding and conceptual change.

Nicola is a contributor to the 'Degree Standards' Project ( which focuses on the UK external examining system. The project is working with a range of higher education providers to design and pilot generic professional development for external examiners and explores different forms of calibration exercises with subject associations and Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Bodies (PSRBs). It has been contracted by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and is managed by the Higher Education Academy (HEA).

Completed Supervisions

Teachers’ perceptions on the effectiveness of the Oxford Online Placement Test at King Abdulaziz University.

Enacting the Curriculum in English for Academic Purposes: A Legitimation Code Theory Analysis.

Recovery as a troublesome concept: A phenomenographic study of mental health nursing students’ learning experiences.

Exploring the Role of Psychological Capital and Academic Hope in High School Students: How they interact With Their Cognitive Strategies to Influence Learning Outcomes?

Information for prospective doctoral research student supervisions

Nicola welcomes postgraduate research supervisions on any of her research interests, with a focus on qualitative methodologies.

Research Groups

Research Projects

  • IntRef Project: Intercultural Reflection on Teaching

Research Interests

  • Learning & teaching in higher education
  • Assessment (for learning) in higher education
  • Academic development
  • Learning and teaching in the disciplines
  • Conceptual change


Chapter in book

Conference Paper

  • Reimann, N. (2005), Aligning teaching-learning environments with students – a new perspective on constructive alignment in the light of student diversity, in Rust, C. eds, Improving Student Learning. Diversity and Inclusivity 12th Improving Student Learning Conference. Oxford, The Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development, Oxford, 271-284.
  • McCune, V. & Reimann, N. (2003), The Enhancing Teaching and Learning Environments in Undergraduate Courses Project: early findings, in Rust, C. eds, Improving Student Learning: Theory and Practice – 10 Years On 10th Improving Student Learning Conference. Oxford, The Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development, Oxford, 271-284.

Edited book

Journal Article

Selected Grants