Staff Profiles

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Dr Gemma Van Vuuren-Cassar

Faculty Director of Learning and Teaching

School: School of Childhood and Education Sciences

Campus: Canterbury

Tel: 01227 923144

Profile summary

I trained and worked as a teacher in schools before moving into higher education. I read for a PhD (1996-2000) and a Masters Degree in Education (1993-1995) at the Victoria University of Manchester; and for a B.Ed (Hons.) (1987-1991) and a Diploma in Applied Social Studies (1986-1989) at the University of Malta. I have been awarded a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (UK) (2014).

I joined Canterbury Christ Church University (UK): Faculty of Education in April 2008 and I am the Faculty Director of Learning and Teaching. I work with various university and faculty committees, working groups and projects, Faculty and Programme Directors, academic and professional staff, and student reps. I am also involved in and enthusiastic about research informed practices that inform pedagogy and curricular innovation in higher education, initial teacher training, undergraduate, postgraduate and Masters programmes.

In the recent past I have contributed to the role of Programme Director for the Foundation Degree and Bachelor of Arts in Physical Education and Physical Activity; and the Bachelor of Arts in Physical Education and Sports and Exercise Science and taught on the PGCE 14-19, Masters and PhD supervision. From 1995 to 2008 I contributed to Bachelor and Masters of Education with QTS; initial teacher training, Physical Education, Health, Sports Coaching and Leisure programmes at the University of Malta. I am a strong believer in professional networking and internationalisation of education and I have participated in ERASMUS staff mobility programmes; and have worked on research and knowledge projects with various national and international stakeholders.

My research interests and publications are on curricular innovation, pedagogical domains, assessments, qualifications, accreditation and employability in higher education and education, Physical Education and Sport related domains.  

Dr Gemma van Vuuren Cassar

B.Ed(Hons.), M.Ed.(Manc.), Dip in App Social Studies, PhD.(Manc.) SFHEA

Research and knowledge exchange

  • Knowledge Exchange cross-university project (2017-2019) A case study of combined and single honours: insights of students’ experience on the Early Childhood Studies programme in the Faculty of Education
  • Knowledge Exchange (2018-2019) Investigating the effect of module teaching activity design; and how this is constructively aligned to module assessment activity types (CCCU, 2017) in the Faculty of Education.(£4000)
  • Horizon 2020 EU Funding: Erasmus + Sports Programme Funding Stream: SPEACH (Sport Physical Education and Coaching in Health)- Project (June 2014-Dec 2017) €494.420,70
  • Physical Education and Higher Education: Curricular innovation, entrepreneurship and employment (2013) £4400
  • Research on Entrepreneurial Learning (2012): £2500
  • Employability in physical education, sport, exercise and coaching: The role of Higher Education institutions (2011) £2000
  • Kent 20in12 Research project: Learning Programme: Using the Olympic and Paralympic Games to Inspire Study Support and Extended Schools
    Activity (2010): £500

Teaching and subject expertise

The main areas of academic lecturing and specialisms include pedagogy, learning, teaching, assessments, examinations and accreditation, curricular issues, inclusion, physical education and health enhancing physical activity. My research interests include pedagogy, assessments, accreditation and employability in higher education and education. 

I am part of the team accredited with mentoring and verifying the Higher Education Academy (HEA) Fellowship Awards at CCCU, which attest to teaching excellence as acclaimed by the United Kingdom Professional Standards Framework (UK PSF) for Higher Education.

PhD/EdD supervision:

Tracey Wornast: Working title -  Student Wellbeing in Higher Education (2014-2018)

External activities

  • External Examiner:
  • Newman University Birmingham: PGCE Secondary PE/School Direct Secondary PE (2014-2018)
  • Edge Hill University PGCE (PE Secondary) (2010-2014); 
  • University of Malta (Masters’ dissertations PE specialism) (2008 to date)


  • Executive Board Member of European Network for Sport Science Education and Employment (ENSSEE / ENSE) (2011- 2017).
  • Sport Physical Education and Coaching in Health (SPEACH) Project Partner (2015-2017)
  • Expertise and research on curricular innovation and assessment was instrumental to the introduction of the Secondary Education Certificate in PE (16+ qualification) in Malta in 2004, consequently I sat on the PE Syllabus panel of the MATSEC Exam Board of the University of Malta (1998-2008).
  • Board member on the National Sports for All Committee (1998-1999)
  • Board member of the National Sports Council (1995-1998) in Malta.

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Last edited: 29/01/2019 15:27:00