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Simon Nicholls

Simon Nicholls BA (Hons.) PGCE PgCLTHE MA

Senior Lecturer in French and Catalan Studies


I was originally appointed as Lecturer in French and Francophone Studies at Sheffield Hallam University in September 2013, having spent three years as an Associate Lecturer at the University of Nottingham and after having conducted 2 years of research field work on island identities, histories, societies and cultures in the Balearic Islands and Corsica.

Alongside my teaching and research in more general nineteenth and twentieth century French, Hispanic and Mediterranean area studies, I continue to maintain an interest in Catalan language and culture, and now co-lead its provision at Sheffield Hallam University, alongside my teaching duties in French language and civilisation.


I was appointed as Senior Lecturer in French and Catalan Studies in 2017, and primarily teach French language and civilisation modules. Moreover, due to the fact that I have taught across the UK education system since 2004, I also lead and (co-)deliver modules in 'Professional Skills in Teaching' and 'Language Learning Development: Theory and Practice' which build upon my nearly two decades of teaching experience. As a lecturer, I place the student experience at the heart of all my teaching, and in 2021, was the recipient of the Vice Chancellor's Award for such efforts, and for student recognition of my teaching and the support I provide as an Academic Advisor (Personal Tutor).

Much of my French civilisation teaching is research-informed. Indeed, as a result of extensive field work and archival study in both France and Spain, I maintain broad research interests in the fields of nineteenth and twentieth century French, Catalan studies, and Mediterranean area studies (more widely). The core of my research relates to regionalism (cultures, politics, societies) in Western Europe and the northern Mediterranean, and to theories of nationalism (ethnosymbolism, modernism) set against the backdrop of regional autonomist and independence movements, particularly in Spain (the Balearic Islands, Catalonia) and France (Corsica, wider 'Occitania'). I have presented research on such areas at international conferences in the past.

Since July 2022, I have acted as Undergraduate Course Leader for Languages and Cultures' degrees at Sheffield Hallam University. I continue, furthermore, to act as Admissions Tutor for Languages and Cultures' degrees at Undergraduate level, a position that I held since September 2018.

Teaching expertise

  • Area Studies pertaining to the Mediterranean
  • Experise in areas such as diglossia, inter-generation transmission and language shift among regional and minority languages
  • French language and area studies (Levels 4-6)
  • History, society and culture of western European states in the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
  • Iberian studies
  • Theories of nationalism, regionalism and government systems, as well as both culture and society


  • Identities and Societies in the western Mediterranean (Balearics, Corsica, the northern and western Mediterranean basin)
  • Theories of nationalism, particularly those of ethno-symbolism and their relationship with politics and society in the 20th and 21st centuries


Department of Management

Sheffield Business School

Languages and Cultures

BA International Business with French
BA International Tourism Management with French
BA Languages with International Business (French)
BA Languages with TESOL (French)
BA Languages with TESOL (Spanish)
BA Languages with Tourism (French)

Contemporary and Professional Studies I French (Civilisation)
Contemporary and Professional Studies III French (Civilisation)
Contemporary European Studies
Language Learning Development: Theory and Practice
Professional Skills in Teaching
ULS Stage 1 Catalan
ULS Stage 1 French
ULS Stage 4 French
ULS Stage 5 French

Other activities

Mediterranean Studies Association (Member)

Widening Participation in Languages Network

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