Dr Sue R Whittle


With a background in biochemistry, I am an Associate Professor (Teaching & Scholarship) in the School of Molecular & Cellular Biology, where I teach undergraduate students on numerous programmes in the Faculties of Biological Sciences and Medicine. I have a wide range of experience in the design, delivery and evaluation of learning & teaching, and mentoring and supporting colleagues and students. I am currently Programme Leader for BSc Biological Sciences and Biotechnology with Enterprise programmes, and Co-Chair of the Faculty Athena Swan group.

My research interests are broad, and include transitions, both between school and university and during undergraduate programmes, the development of students' transferable and subject-specific skills, both before entry to university and during undergraduate study, and the use of blended learning to support students' independent study and employability.  I have experience as an External Examiner on MBChB programmes. I am Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology, Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (Advance HE), an HEA Accreditor, and was awarded University Student Education Fellowships in 2010 and 2014.


  • Programme Leader, BSc Biological Sciences and Biotechnology with Enterprise
  • Co-Chair, Faculty Athena Swan Group

Research interests

My research interests include:

  • the support of students during transition between school and university, and between phases of undergraduate study.
  • the development of students' transferable skills, both before entry to university and during undergraduate study. Projects have included studying the effect of first year courses on skills development, effects of changes to UK secondary education, and differences between the transferable skills of intakes to a range of UK and South African medical schools.
  • the use of on-line resources and blended learning; recent projects have included the design, implementation and evaluation of on-line resources to support the development of students' laboratory skills (http://www.virtual-labs.leeds.ac.uk/), Career Planning (iDecide), and support of returning students (Year 2 support resource).
  • the use of educational environment surveys to evaluate and enhance the student experience.
  • the development of modules using 'flipped classroom' techniques which utilise REF case studies to enhance students' understanding of the impact of research outputs.

These projects have been supported through awards of University of Leeds Student Education Fellowships in 2010 and 2014.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://biologicalsciences.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • BSc, Leeds; PhD, Leeds; PGCLTHE

Professional memberships

  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology
  • Senior Fellow, AdvanceHE (HEA)

Student education

I teach on a wide range of modules, mainly in the Faculty of Biological Sciences, but also in the School of Medicine on the MBChB programme. Much of my teaching centres on basic biochemistry and metabolism, with a particular interest in the role of nutrition in human health and disease, which forms the basis for my final year undergraduate projects. I am involved in module design and review, and have interests in alternative/additional forms of teaching delivery, such as active learning, flipped teaching and the use of online resources to scaffold independent study. I am also responsible for the design and delivery of practical classes, particularly in first year. 

I am involved in pastoral support for students both as a personal tutor and Programme Leader.

I sit on Student Education Committees at both School and Faculty level.