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Durham University

DCAD: English Language Support

Current Staff Information

Dr Nicola Reimann

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

Contact Dr Nicola Reimann


Nicola is Assistant Professor in Academic Practice and is based both in the School of Education and in the Durham Centre for Academic Development ( Her role focuses on researching learning, teaching and assessment in higher education and educational development for Durham staff, in particular in the context of 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 research focuses on assessment and feedback in higher education and the ways in which academics develop, the relationship between their thinking and their practice, in particular in relation to assessment.

Nicola leads the Erasmus+ funded Intercultural Reflection on Teaching (IntRef, which develops and investigates innovative methods for reflecting on teaching using video and video-conferencing. In collaboration with Goethe University Frankfurt in Germany, Padua University in Italy and a range of Associated Partners, IntRef provides academics with transnational professional development opportunities and academic developers and managers with innovative intercultural methods that can be used to enhance approaches to reflection.

Nicola also contributes 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 is funded by the Office for Students and is managed by Advance HE (formerly the Higher Education Academy).

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

School of Education

Research Projects

School of Education

  • 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

Indicators of Esteem

  • 2015: Principal Fellow: Higher Education Academy (PFHEA)


Chapter in book

Conference Paper

  • Reimann, N., Rajab,T., Dragas, T., Murray, M., Rattray, J. & IntRef participants from Durham (2019), Enhancing Teaching through Intercultural Reflection on Teaching: the IntRef Project, Durham University Annual Learning and Teaching Conference, 9 September 2019. Durham, England.

Edited book

Journal Article