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Dr Sandy Cope

Academic Practice Dev.Manager

Centre for Academic Development and Quality Dept.


Sandy is an Academic Practice Development Manager at NTU looking after the professional development of academic staff in relation to Learning, Teaching and Assessment practice.  Sandy is responsible for the following areas, the Fellowship Professional Recognition Scheme, the Academic Professional Apprenticeship, the Post Graduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education and the Trent Institute for Learning and Teaching.  Sandy is  also co-chair for the Disability Equality Network (DEN).

Career overview

Having previously been a Chartered Marketer Sandy worked in industry for many years, latterly as a Business Development Director.   Sandy was invited to lecture because of her early experience in putting business’ online. Initially working in Business Schools she lectured in Services Marketing, Data Driven Marketing and Internet Trading due to her commercial experience.   Her role then expanded into E-Business and Information Systems. Sandy has  been a Programme lead for a part-time MBA, which successfully launched on-line.  Sandy has also been a Faculty Teaching Fellow for E-Learning, CPD and  been an external examiner for other business schools.

Sandy was lead for one of the pilot institutions that worked with Advance HE bringing the UK Professional Standards Framework into the HE sector, and have instigated frameworks into three institutions as well as supporting numerous colleagues in bringing frameworks into their own institutions.  Sandy takes an active interest in its continuing development.

Sandy’s doctoral thesis examined the Continuing Professional Development in learning and teaching in the HE sector, which is her main research area together with how we support students with hidden disabilities such as Asperger’s.  She has presented her research worldwide including at forums like the World Education Research Association (WERA).

Sandy is passionate about supporting staff with effective Learning and Teaching practices who are new into the Higher Education sector to demonstrate how research and teaching fit together in rounded academic practice.

Research areas

Sandy has an active interest in Continuing Professional Development in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education and is currently researching into the effectiveness of the Academic Professional Apprenticeship.  She is also leading some research across her own team looking more broadly at the support activities undertaken for academic staff.

External activity

Sandy is an active member on the Staff and Educational Development Association (SEDA) conference committee, having previously served as co-chair and she is currently a member of the European Sotl and ISSoTL


Fox, B. Cope, S. Tate, A.  & Breckin, V. (2022)  Engaging and empowering Early-career Academics: An Active Learning Curriculum Design for the APA/PGCLTHE , 100+ Active Learning Ideas Book (forthcoming)

Fox, B. Cope, S.  & Tate, A.  (2022) The Digitally Literate Self: Developing Digital Entities in Fox, B., (2022) Developing Digital Literacies for the 21st Century: Teaching and Learning in a Postdigital World, Palgrave MacMillan (forthcoming)

Fox, B. Cope, S. & Tate, A. (2022) How Universities develop their leaders: Barriers to and perceptions of Leadership Development opportunities for women in Higher Education.  BELMAS Conference

Cope, S. Fox, B. et al (2022) Bringing Communities Together.  EuroSoTL. University of Manchester.

Cope, S. (2021)  Keeping Positive Staff Changes: Taking a Chance or by Deliberate Design. SEDA Spring Conference.  Online.

Cope, S. (2021) Keynote Speaker.  ‘Changes in academic practice during the Covid 19 pandemic.’  Shifting Arts Learning & Teaching Online.  University of Wolverhampton.

Cope, S. (2017) Quality learning and teaching with sessional staff. HERDSA guide, International Journal for Academic Development, 22:1, 90-91, DOI: 10.1080/1360144X.2016.1268314

Cope, S. (2013) Plenary Panel Member. ASPIRE Symposium 2013: Dialogue and Courage. Exeter University.

Cope, S. (2013) How can UK University Structures change to assist disabled students? European Conference on Educational Research (European Educational Research Association). Istanbul, Turkey.

Beaton, F., Bradley, S., and Cope, S (2013) Supporting postgraduates who teach. Practice and Evidence of Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Vol. 8, No. 2, SEDA/PESTLHE Special Issue September 2013, pp. 81-82

Beaton, F., Bradley, S., and Cope, S (2013) Supporting postgraduates who teach: a forgotten tribe? SEDA Workshop 14.2.2013. Aston University. Birmingham.

Cope, S. (2012) Invited speaker: Victoria University, the Research Inspired Teaching Excellence Programme at Aston University, Wellington, New Zealand.

Cope, S. (2012) Invited speaker: Massey University, the Research Inspired Teaching Excellence Programme at Aston University. Palmeston North, New Zealand.

Cope, S. and Zandian, L. (2012) Profiling Techniques used for student support plans with Asperger Syndrome – are we getting it right? Joint Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE), AsiaPacific

Education Research Association (APERA) World Education Research Conference (WERA). Sydney, Australia.

Wheeler, A. Vlachopoulos, P. and Cope, S (2012) Creating a Culture for Critical and Situated Technology Use through Effective Learning Design. Future Challenges: Sustainable Futures. Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education. (Ascilite) Conference. Massey University, New Zealand. ISBN: 978-0-473-22989-4

Cope, S. (2012) Are we getting it RITE? Recognising and rewarding Research Inspired Teaching Excellence (RITE) in a research-led institution. SEDA Conference. Excellence in Teaching: recognising, enhancing, evaluating and achieving impact. Aston University, Birmingham.

Cope, S. and Gill, J. (2010) Challenges of implementing scholarship to underpin the implementation of the UK Professional Standard Framework. The London Society of Teaching and Learning Conference. The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists Regent’s Park London, UK

Cope, S. and Seden, R. (2009) Reflections on a Pilot Study: what have we learnt from implementing our CPD framework? SEDA Special Publication Series. Embedding CPD in Higher Education. Edited by Mike Laycock and Liz Shrives. ISBN-13: 978-1902435459

Crawford, K., Cope, S., Rothwell, A. and Bradley, S. (2008) What Academics Value; A Comparative Analysis of Research into Continuing Professional Development (CPD) in Four English Universities. SRHE Annual Conference: Valuing Higher Education. Liverpool.

Cope, S., Crawford, K, Bradley, S. A, and Rothwell, A. (2008) 'Evidencing CPD: planning for an uncertain future', Credit-bearing Professional Development in HE Learning & Teaching, December 2008, CRA and ESCalate HEA Subject Centre, UK.

Bradley, S. A, Cope, S., Crawford, K, and Rothwell, A. (2008) ‘Formalising the informal implementing a credit bearing framework under a flexible learning scheme’, Credit bearing