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Dr. Ruth Richards

Ruth Richards

Senior Lecturer

School of Social Sciences

Staff Group(s)
Secondary and Continuing Education


Dr Ruth Richards is a Senior Lecturer in the Nottingham Institute of Education (NIoE) where she primarily trains specialist Science teachers, lecturing on a variety of subjects and leading Biology Methodology and Core Science for her trainees on the Post Graduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) and School Direct (SD) routes into teaching, assessing and supporting trainees in Partnership School settings.

Ruth is passionate about supporting and enabling the progression of unqualified teachers who need recognition within their schools. She is the Course Leader for the Assessment Only QTS Route (AO) for both Primary and Secondary level teachers, assessing in a range of different subjects, supporting our local Partnership Schools.  A lot of Ruth’s work takes place in Partnership Schools where assessment of both PGCE, SD and AO candidates takes place.

Ruth also lectures on the Science Subject Knowledge Enhancement Course to support prospective PGCE/SD development of subject knowledge prior to embarking on a teacher training route.

Ruth also works as an external examiner for other PGCE and School Direct Courses.

Ruth also has had extensive experience with public examinations and has worked for OCR examination board in a variety of roles since the late 1990s. These roles include: writing examination papers for Advanced level Geology; organisation of marking teams and QA of markers; coordinating the content and structure of both A level and AS papers. She has been involved in constructing the specifications and had input into discussions regarding the core content documents for the DfE and Ofqual.

Ruth has experience of school governance, volunteering as a governor a local primary school and a secondary special school in Loughborough, catering for pupils with ASD and Moderate Learning Difficulties.

Career overview

Ruth gained a BSc in Geology at the University of Hull, an MSc in Industrial Mineralogy and a PhD in Palaeontology at the University of Leicester. Following this,  she trained as a secondary Science teacher, completing a PGCE at the University of Leicester and began teaching in schools in the Leicester area including Beauchamp College in Oadby, eventually becoming the Director of Science at John Cleveland College in Hinckley, with responsibility for the Specialist College Status.

Ruth joined Nottingham Trent University in 2009 as a Senior Lecturer.

Research areas

Ruth has a keen interest and focus on high quality teaching and has published works to support teaching general Science, Geology and Biology, including publishing several textbooks for teachers and school pupils. Linked to this she sits on forums and steering groups for the development of Science at OCR.

Ruth has an interest in supporting pupils in schools who suffer from ASD and moderate learning difficulties. She leads sessions for trainee teachers in this area.

Ruth is an experienced PhD and EdD supervisor, supporting students through their research journeys, both from home and overseas in a variety of different subjects including e-learning, outdoor learning, medical education and art and design. She has an interest in a mixed methods to data collection and analysis, employing both quantitative and qualitative approaches.

She currently supervises two EdD students and one PhD student.

More recent research has focused on raising the profile of the workload issues for university lecturers.


  • Richards, R. E. and Mullins, G. L., 2003.  Upper Silurian microplankton of the Leintwardine Group, Ludlow Series, in the type Ludlow area and adjacent regions.  Palaeontology, Vol. 46. No 3, pp. 557 – 611. Blackwell Publishing.
  • Armstrong, D., Mugglestone. F., Richards, R. and Stratton. F., 2008.  Geology. Unit 5, Evolution of Life, Earth and Climate.  Pp. 220 – 297.  Pearson Education Ltd.
  • Ireson. G., Crowley. M., Richards, R., and Twidle, J., 2010.  Secondary Science 11 to 16.  A practical guide.  Sage.
  • Platt, C., & Richards, R., 2010.   Post 16 Biology Resources. (How Science Works) Badger Publishing.
  • Richards, R., 2010.  Post 16 Geology Resources (How Science Works). Badger Publishing.
  • Farah, M., Ireson, G. and Richards, R., 2016. A Content, Pedagogy and Technology [CPT] Approach to TPACK. Imperial Journal of Interdisciplinary Research, 2(12), pp. 1162-1170.
  • Farah, M., Ireson, G. and Richards, R., 2016. Developing a predictive model for the enhanced learning outcomes by the use of technology. Imperial Journal of Interdisciplinary Research (IJIR), 2(5), pp. 1205-1212.
  • Davies, S., Mugglestone, F., Richards, R., and Shelton, T., 2017.  Geology for A level and AS. Illuminate Publishing. Consultant editor Ruth Richards.  320pp.
  • Muscat, M., Ireson, G., Richards, R., and Turner, M. 2017.  Does linking a medical learning point to a relevant fictional character enhance knowledge acquisition?  World Journal of Medical Education and Research Vol. 13, Issue 1. p. 35-38.
  • Clapham, A., Richards, R., Lonsdale, K., and La Velle, L., [in press]. Scarcely visible? Analysing Initial Teacher Education Research and the Research Excellence Framework.