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Rebecca Hodgson

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Dr Rebecca Hodgson SFHEA

Assistant Dean (Student Experience)


As Assistant Dean (Student Experience) I am responsible for College leadership in the area of student experience, with a particular emphasis on teaching quality, assessment, and the student voice. 

As a course leader in Sheffield Institute of Education I provide strategic and academic leadership of the PgCert Teaching in Higher Education.


I am an enthusiastic educator, committed to widening participation in education, the development of confident teachers and outstanding teachers, and the provision of an excellent student experience. My background is in English language teaching, teaching adults and community based education, and local authority educational development. These experiences enabled me to develop my career in teacher education at Sheffield Hallam University across a range of roles. These roles have been at subject, Department, and Institute level, enabling me to develop skills and management expertise with people, academic programmes, resources and business development. This has culminated in a secondment to a College leadership role, where I am responsible for the quality of the student experience.

I also have responsibility for the strategic and academic development of the PgCert Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, an important part of the Sheffield Institute of Education's portfolio that contributes to University ambitions for excellence in teaching and learning.

As a governor at a local sixth form college, I maintained my understanding of and connections with the regional educational landscape.  National external examiner work contributes to my broader knowledge and expertise regarding teacher education and student learning in the post-16 sector.

I have taught across a broad range of modules exploring many aspects of pedagogy - the theory and practice of learning, teaching and assessment in post-16 and higher education. In 'teaching teachers' I aim to have an 'explicit pedagogy' and make visible to my students as many aspects of the teaching and learning process as possible. I seek a balance between enabling new teachers to develop the 'tools' to develop their practice, and stimulating critical engagement with theoretical concepts and ideas to inform high quality reflective practice.

As part of my teaching role I am privileged to observe my students teaching across every college in the University (and outside the University), which gives me unparalleled insights into different kinds of provision, and frequently ideas for my own practice.

My teaching interests also include the impact of governmental policy at 'ground level', from macro to micro; how curriculum and practice becomes a reflection of the current perceived purpose of education and thus shapes society in turn.


Department of Teacher Education

College of Social Sciences and Arts


My research explores the development of academic identities and practices for new lecturers in higher education, and I have identified mechanisms which determine whether individuals are able to inhabit a stable professional identity (see publications). I situate my research within the policy context of UK higher education and the current discourses of excellence, regulation and audit.

My current scholarly activity is focused on research into academic integrity (the challenges of contract plagiarism), and course-focused assessment, both of which are linked to my College role.

My Masters in Education dissertation won the Gervase Finn Award for highest standard of dissertation within the field of education. It was focused on the concept of 'teaching quality' in higher education, and how this could be enhanced or assured.


Conference papers

Hodgson, R. (2018). A new model for academic identity [Abstract only]. In The 6th International Academic Identities Conference 2018, Research Institute for Higher Education, Hiroshima University, Japan, 19 September 2018 - 21 September 2018. Research Institute for Higher Education, Hiroshima University:


Austen, L., Hodgson, R., Heaton, C., Pickering, N., & Dickinson, J. (2021). Access, retention, attainment, progression – an integrative literature review. AdvanceHE.

Austen, L., Hodgson, R., Heaton, C., Pickering, N., & Dickinson, J. (2021). Access, retention, attainment and progression: an integrative review of demonstrable impact on student outcomes. Advance HE.

Theses / Dissertations

Hodgson, R.A. (2017). New lecturers' journeys : the formation of 'the academic' in Higher Education. (Doctoral thesis). Supervised by Maxwell, B.

Internet Publications

Hodgson, R., & Austen, L. (2021). Fixing the leaky pipeline of impact evidence in access and participation work.

Hodgson, R., & Austen, L. (2021). Access, retention, attainment, progression.,%201%20Nov%202021

Hodgson, R., & Austen, L. (2021). Student success: retention.

Hodgson, R., & Austen, L. (2021). Student success: progression.

Hodgson, R. (2016). Formative assessment – modelling assessment on the real world.

Hodgson, R. (2015). When is an NQT not an NQT? Trials and tribulations for post-16 PGCE graduates.


Hodgson, R., & Austen, L. (2022). 'What works’ in student retention and success. Presented at: Student Retention and Success Symposium, Online

Hodgson, R. (2021). Breaking Down Silos and Democratising Data. Presented at: Higher Education Data Conference, London

Hodgson, R. (2021). A New Student Experience: Innovative Approaches to Student Satisfaction during Covid-19. Presented at: Enhancing Student Experience in the Covid-19 Era, Online

Other activities

I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and was a member of the Institute for Learning (now the Society for Education and Training). 

I am a member of the College Leadership Forum and the University Leadership Forum, and part of of the University Teaching Quality Committee.

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