Portrait of Dr Christine Dearnley Dr Christine Dearnley

c.a.dearnley@hud.ac.uk | 01484 473406


Chris joined the University of Huddersfield in February 2015 as Head of Post-Registration Education. Prior to this she had worked at the University of Bradford, in the Faculty of Health Studies, for a number of years where she held a variety of posts. These included Associate Dean Learning and Teaching (2012-2015) and University Lead for the ALPS CETL (2005-2010). She was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship in 2012 in recognition of her contribution to enhanced learning, assessment and feedback processes in higher education for the health sciences.

Research and Scholarship

Chris is primarily interested in pedagogical research in the context of health care delivery. However, her expertise in technology enhanced learning and assessment and feedback is transferable to other settings. She is particularly interested in the relationship between learning, personal and professional development and the subsequent impact on professional practice and has undertaken a number of studies to explore this. She has led on the following funded projects:

  • 2013: Literature Review: Innovation in teaching in healthcare higher education; funding awarded by Council of Deans of Health
  • 2009-2010: Embedding Mobile Enabling Technologies; funding awarded by ALPS CETL
  • 2009-2010: Enhancing Accessibility Project; funding awarded by Strategic Health Authority, £6,000
  • 2010: Disability and Fitness to Practice funding awarded by Strategic Health Authority
  • 2007-2008: Mobile Enabled Disabled Students (MEDS); funding awarded by ALPS CETL capital investment fund
  • 2005-2006: E-Learning for interprofessional education in health studies; fund awarded by TQEG - HEFCE eLearning investment fund

Publications and Other Research Outputs


Dearnley, C., Rhodes, C., Roberts, P., Williams, P. and Prenton, S. (2017) ‘Team Based Learning in Nursing and Midwifery Higher Education; A Systematic Review of the Evidence for ChangeNurse Education Today . ISSN 0260-6917


McClelland, G., Horne, M., Dearnley, C., Raynsford, J. and Irving, D. (2015) ‘Experiences and Outcomes Among Undergraduate Health Professional Higher Education Students With Protected Characteristics: Disability, Gender, and EthnicityJournal of Psychological Issues in Organizational Culture , 6 (1), pp. 38-64. ISSN 2041-8418


Hargreaves, J., Dearnely, C., Walker, S. and Walker, L. (2014) ‘The preparation and practice of disabled health care practitioners: exploring the issuesInnovations in Education and Teaching International , 51 (3), pp. 303-314. ISSN 1470-3297


Dearnley, C., McClelland, G. and Irving, D. (2013) Innovation in Teaching and Learning in Health Higher Education The Higher Education Academy

Walker, S., Dearnley, C., Walker, E. and Hargreaves, J. (2013) ‘Risk, Fitness to Practice, and Disabled Health Care StudentsJournal of Psychological Issues in Organizational Culture , 3 (4), pp. 46-59. ISSN 2041-8418

Dearnley, C., Taylor, J., Laxton, J., Rinomhota, S. and Nkosana-Nyawata, I. (2013) ‘The student experience of piloting multi-modal performance feedback tools in health and social care practice (work)-based settingsAssessment & Evaluation in Higher Education , 38 (4), pp. 436-450. ISSN 0260-2938


Taylor, J., Dearnley, C., Laxton, J., Nkosana-Nyawata, I. and Rinomhota, S. (2012) ‘The Perceptions of Health and Social Care Students of using Mobile 360 Degree Performance Feedback Tools in Practice Placement SettingsInternational Journal of Mobile and Blended Learning , 4 (1), pp. 18-30. ISSN 1941-8647


Dearnley, C., Coulby, C., Rhodes, C., Taylor, J. and Coates, C. (2011) ‘Service users and carers: preparing to be involved in work-based practice assessmentInnovations in Education and Teaching International , 48 (2), pp. 213-222. ISSN 1470-3297

Taylor, J., Dearnley, C., Laxton, J., Nkosana-Nyawata, I. and Rinomhota, S. (2011) ‘Using mobile 360 degree performance feedback tools in Health and Social Care Practice Placement settings: an evaluation from the students’ perspective’. In: Mobile Learning: Crossing Boundaries in Convergent Environments, 21st - 22nd March, 2011,


Dearnley, C., Elliott, J., Hargreaves, J., Morris, S., Walker, L., Walker, S. and Arnold, C. (2010) ‘Disabled People, Effective Practitioners: Enabling a Health Care Workforce that Better Reflects SocietyInternational Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences , 5 (8), pp. 259-274. ISSN 1833-1882

Taylor, J., Dearnley, C., Laxton, J., Coates, C., Treasure?Jones, T., Campbell, R. and Hall, I. (2010) ‘Developing a mobile learning solution for health and social care practiceDistance Education , 31 (2), pp. 175-192. ISSN 0158-7919


National awards

  • National Teaching Fellowship, 2012. The National Teaching Fellowship Scheme recognises and rewards excellent learning and teaching and is funded by HEFCE.
  • Handheld Learning Award for Innovation 2009 (awarded for the work of the ALPS CETL). The Handheld Learning Award for Innovation was awarded during the Handheld Learning Conference. Attended by more than 1,500 international delegates, the Conference is the world's leading event about learning assisted by mobile technologies.

International awards

  • European and Distance Education Network (EDEN) Conference Award for Leading Practice in Learning Impact; 2010(award for the Conference paper that demonstrated the most significant impact on Practice Education)
  • IMS Global Learning Impact Gold Award 2010; (award for research which demonstrated the most significant impact on learning)

University of Bradford award

  • Excellence in Research and Knowledge Transfer Interdisciplinary Award 2010. This award was to ‘reward and celebrate inter-departmental collaboration within the University where innovations have been developed that would not have been possible by working independently and which had a positive impact on the external environment’.

Keynote and invited presentations

  • Dearnley C.A. (2012) Developing mobile learning and assessment processes to support the diverse needs of students in placement settings; M-health event 5 March, Royal Society of Medicine. London
  • Dearnley C.A. (2009) ‘Key Note’ speaker, group facilitator and expert panel member for the plenary session of the HEA Health Science and Practice ASSESSMENT SIG FEST November 4th, Birmingham
  • Dearnley C.A. (2009) Audio Supported Learning and Audio Feedback. HEA Health Science & Practice Assessment SIG. Birmingham November
  • Dearnley C.A., Haigh J., Fairhall J. (2007) Using Mobile Technologies for Assessment and Learning in Practice Settings: A Case Study. HEA Practice Learning and Support SIG meeting. London (2007)
  • Dearnley C.A., Taylor J., Coates C., Haigh J., Parks M., Dransfield M. (2007) Mobile learning and Assessment in Multi-Dimensional Settings: A case study report. Workshop presented at Coventry iPED Conference: Researching Academic Futures. 10-11 September 2007

Research Degree Supervision

Chris has extensive experience and a successful track record of supervising both masters students and PhD students and has taught research methodology to graduate social science students across the University of Bradford. She is primarily a qualitative researcher with specific experience of grounded theory, social constructivism and action research.

Key areas of interest include approaches to learning and teaching that promote the personal and professional development of health care practitoners, and the subsequent delivery of care from a constructivist approach. Broad areas of interest include issues related to the improvement of health care services and delivery.

Chris has undertaken several studies related to Interprofessional learning and assessment and is particularly interested in further exploring health professional roles and how current boundaries could be overcome.

Current primary PhD supervisions

  • Janine Hargan; Disabled students performance in professional practice; PhD - Year 3 F/T
  • Jane Welby; Recruitment and selection of tomorrow's nurses; PhD - Year 2 P/T

Doctoral supervisions successfully completed

  • Evita Evangelou; Examining the quality of Life of adults with chronic mental distress; PhD completed 2007
  • Sally Salter; Productivity Improvement in a small company; DBA (Doctorate in Business Administration) completed 2007
  • Ama Kassangala; Health policy analysis in low income countries: a case study of integrating HIV and TB services in Tanzania; Successful PhD viva April 2014

Administrative Responsibilities

Chris has overall lead for the MSc Health Studies; she is also the strategic lead for all other MSc courses in the department with involvement in all new postgraduate and undergraduate SSPRD (Specialist Skills and Post Registration Development) course developments.

Teaching and Professional Activities

Chris has shared module leadership for the Health Studies Dissertation module.