IoE retains high rank in the Times and the Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017

Dr Cathy Tissot, Head of the IoE
Dr Cathy Tissot, Head of the IoE

The Institute of Education (IoE) has again achieved fantastic results in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017.

Education at the University of Reading is ranked 8th in the UK according to the new results, retaining the IoE’s status amongst the leaders for Teaching and Education in every major UK league tables.

The high score complements the IoE’s profile in the National Student Survey (NSS) 2016, where it is ranked 7th for Initial Teacher Training with 92% overall satisfaction in Education and 95%rankings1 satisfaction with academic support in Education

Dr Cathy Tissot (left), Head of the IoE said: “This fantastic result reflects the hard work and dedication of colleagues within the Institute. I am very happy that we have retained our high ranking across the board as this demonstrates our commitment to providing the best in support and education for all our students.”

Published annually, the Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide ranks universities according to a number of indicators including: teaching quality, student experience, research quality, entry points and graduate prospects.

It’s time! Viva Day – By Heike Bruton, IoE Research Assistant and PhD Researcher

Authored by Heike Bruton and originally posted on by Engage in Teaching & Learning

There can’t be many more nerve-wracking oral exams than the PhD viva. A several-year build-up –and then… what? To give research students an impression of what’s it actually like on the day, Dr Carol Fuller from the Institute of Education has produced a short, entertaining and informative video.

Heike Bruton
Heike Bruton

Using some Teaching and Learning Development Fund (TLDF) money, Carol, who is Director of the Institute’s EdD Programme, has teamed up with film maker Henry Steddman – a UoR alumni — to provide reassurance to potentially anxious candidates. Starring some IoE colleagues as well as professional actors, the video thankfully stays clear of vague and meaningless advice often found in self-help type viva-survivor tips, such as ‘just be yourself’ (which is fine if your self is a confident academic on top of your game, not so much if it’s a nervous wreck. As Father Ted says to Dougal: never be yourself! That’s just something people say!)

So how should you be, then? First, let’s remember the cornerstones of the situation you’re in here:

  • You’re the expert on your thesis
  • The examiners have read your work thoroughly…
  • ….and they’re keen to discuss it with you.

On viva day:

  • dress smartly
  • refer to your thesis
  • keep eye contact
  • if unsure, ask questions
  • stay hydrated
  • ….try to relax!
  • at the end, if you’re asked whether you’d like to add anything, take the opportunity.

Then, you’ve done all you can for now, and there’s no more to than just wait, until… it’s time!

Hopefully, you’ll get the desired result, and will be awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy! Congratulations!

If UoR PhD’ers and EdD’ers find the video useful, Carol is keen to hear their feedback – via any means possible, be it the YouTube comment box, on Facebook or twitter, or via email. “It’s a good way to give students access to an easy-to-use resource”, says Carol. “If students tell us they like this video clip, we can make the case for funding to make more such short films, for example on epistemology or methodology.”

What do you and your students think of Carol’s video? Have a watch here:

post authored by:

Heike Bruton | Research Assistant and PhD Researcher | University of Reading, Institute of Education, London Road Campus, building L33 room 115, 4 Redlands Road, Reading, RG1 5EX | + 44(0) 118 378 2645 |  |

Sir David Bell has opened the University’s first new Support Centre

Sir David Bell cuts the ribbon to open the Centre
Sir David Bell cuts the ribbon to open the Centre

Sir David Bell visited the University of Reading’s London Road campus on 15 September to officially open the first of the new Support Centres at the University of Reading.

Support Centres will be opening across the University as part of Reading’s commitment to enhancing the student experience. They will provide a first port of call for students, with advice from knowledgeable and friendly support staff during teaching hours.

The occasion was a happy one, with the sun shining to mark the event. The campus looked beautiful as always, still wearing its fresh green summer colours on such a beautiful Autumn day.

Sir David Bell (centre) with (L to R): Susanna McFeely, Support Centre Manager; Andrea Cheshire, Director of Student & Applicant Services; Dr Cathy Tissot, Head of the Institute of Education; and Professor Gavin Brooks, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Teaching and Learning).
Sir David Bell (centre) with (L to R): Susanna McFeely, Support Centre Manager; Andrea Cheshire, Director of Student & Applicant Services; Dr Cathy Tissot, Head of the Institute of Education; and Professor Gavin Brooks, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Teaching and Learning).






Student Support Centre
Building L16
London Road Campus

University of Reading
Enquiries: 0118 378 2611



IoE’s Dr Helen Bilton nominated for prestigious outdoor learning award

(you can vote here in a click)

Dr Helen Bilton
Dr Helen Bilton

Helen’s nomination is for a lifetime Achievement in Learning Outside the Classroom Award 2016. Outdoor learning is the driving force of the body that bestows the award:  the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom (CLOtC). They say the places where learning happens can have a significant effect on how a young person engages with a subject or an idea.

Helen has dedicated her working life to ensuring children receive the best education in the outdoor environment to harness their individual potential. She has taught thousands of teachers, leading to a beneficial impact on great numbers of children’s lives. Her passion for outdoor learning has translated to hundreds and books and publications.

Helen's games for Welcome Week 2015
Helen’s games for Welcome Week 2015

Helen, who is Associate Professor of Education at the IoE, as well as being a Senior Tutor and Director of the MA programme, is well known for coming up with unusual and stimulating ideas for student learning. During the University’s Welcome Week last year, Helen organised a series of wacky games that resulted in the new cohorts being found strewn in tangled heaps around the cloisters of the IoE’s London Road campus.

Helen’s work is an inspiration and lots of fun for all participants. If you’d like to vote for her, click here (scroll to bottom) or copy this link: