Lauren Birkbeck is the Course Leader for the BSc (Hons) Equine Sports Science programme). She teaches predominantly on exercise physiology, biomechanics, and analysis of performance based modules. As well as academic curriculum, Lauren also leads academic tutorials and acts as a personal tutor.
Lauren believes in interactive teaching to deliver engaging lectures that add context and application to scientific theory. To this end, she is an active member of the TILT DELITe; Delivering Engaging Lectures and Interactive Teaching scholarship and practice group, including presenting at their Conference in 2016. This group was recognised at the NTSU Outstanding Teaching Awards 2016, and Lauren was nominated for the Vice-Chancellor’s Teaching Award in 2017.
Lauren is the External Examiner for equine modules at Hartpury University, and for equine undergraduate courses at Writtle University College. At NTU, she is a member of the College Ethical Review Committee (Humans), as well as the ARES Ethical Review Committee.
Lauren is also a Warden at Brackenhurst, providing out of hours pastoral support for students living on site.
Lauren graduated with an Honours degree in Equine Sports Science, before working as a Research Assistant and completing a Masters by Research in Sport Science, specialising in Biomechanics. She has previously taught at Warwickshire College, before taking over as Course Leader on the Equine Sports Science degree at NTU in 2014. Outside of academia, Lauren spent many years working in the equestrian industry, teaching, riding/ grooming (Eventing, Polo, Hunting), and working as a nutritional advisor.
Lauren’s research focuses on performance analysis in equestrian sports, particularly in the sport of Eventing, and the effect that rider position may have on the horse. She has close links with the Sport department as NTU, as well as external governing bodies. Current areas include speed on cross-country courses, the influence of tack design on rider position, and computer modelling falls.
Opportunities to carry out postgraduate research towards an MPhil/PhD in the School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences exist and further information may be obtained from the NTU Graduate School.
Sponsors and collaborators
Lauren works with industry partners to ensure the projects she is involved with are applicable and have real impact for the sport. These include British Eventing and An Eventful Life.
- Saddle design and rider stability. Birkbeck L. Equestrian Coaching in the 21st Century, Nottingham, UK, 2017 (oral presentation)
- Interactive activities for engagement and learning. Birkbeck L, and Power E. DELITe Conference, Nottingham, UK, 2016 (oral presentation)
- A preliminary investigation into the effects of jumping saddle design on rider posture. White C and Birkbeck L in (Eds) DM Peters and P O'Donoghue, Performance Analysis of Sport IX, 2013, Routledge, 232
- A comparison of conformational traits of elite and non-elite agility Border Collie dogs. Birkbeck L, Boyd J, Croxford S & White C, Seventh International Conference on Equine and Canine Locomotion, Sweden, 2012 (poster presentation)