Sarah O'Hara

Senior Academic Link Tutor

I spent over 20 years working in all areas of the media and communications industry both in the UK and overseas. I have industry experience in media, advertising and public relations and have worked for media organisations, agencies and within client companies. I moved into academia at Canterbury Christ Church in 2013. My teaching focus is on practical industry focused insight. Since 2014 I have been a Programme Director across Media and Communications, PR, Media and Marketing and PR and Media.

I am currently on 0.5 secondment working as Senior Academic Link Tutor for International Partnerships working within the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Department.

I have taught on a variety of undergraduate programmes and modules in the. I have developed modified and evolved much of the teaching. Modules covered include.

  • Module leader on Making Media Meanings and Messages
  • Module support on Introduction to Professional Communications
  • Module support on Media and Creative Industries
  • Module leader on Advertising in Context
  • Module leader on Advertising Practices
  • Module leader on Introduction to Public Relations
  • Module support on Media Business and Entrepreneurship
  • Module support on Media Futures
  • Module leader on Work Related Learning
  • Module leader on Professional Work Based Learning
  • Module support on Individual Research Project
  • Module Leader Global Experience (overseas field trip).
  • Module support of Professional Practices (BA Hons Multi Media Journalism)
  • Module leader Public Relations: Campaign and Planning


Learning and Teaching Enhancement

Winner of Faculty of Arts and Humanities Learning and Teaching Innovation Prize 2018

Programme lead on validation of BA Hons Media and Communications - Level 6 Top up Degree with Modern Continuing Education Centre (formally Compass College) in Hong Kong

Programme attendee on Media and Communications Revalidation Panel 2018

Programme lead on validation of BA Hons Media and Public Relations 2019

 Programme lead on validation of MA Public Relations 2019

UCAP/PGCAP Mentor 2015-2020


Research and knowledge exchange

I completed my Masters by Research in 2017 looking at Organisational Culture in Local Media Organisations. 

I co-delivered a funded project Online news and communication in local communities' (2015-2017) with Agnes Gulyas and in partnership with Canterbury Voluntary Alliance, Canterbury City Council, Kent Messenger Group and Esri UK, funded by HEIF (£5,518)

I am currently studying for a Doctorate in Education due to submit in 2023 researching the perceptions of dyslexia within higher education through the lens of a dyslexic academic.


Teaching and subject expertise

I am interested in all aspects of the communications industry, including advertising, PR and social media. I am a Chartered Marketer and a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, A Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of PR. I am also a Senior Fellow of Higher Education.


External activities

Conference Papers

 O'Hara S (2017) Organisational Culture within local media.

Provincial Newspapers: Lessons from History 6th September John Moores University, Liverpool


Gulyas A,  O'Hara S (2017) 'What is local news online? Audience perceptions and consumption patterns of local news in the digital age' with Agnes Gulyas

'Future of Journalism 2017' conference, University of Cardiff, 14-15 Sept


O'Hara S (2016) Organisational Culture within Local Media Conference Poster

ECREA Conference. 10th November, Prague, Czech Republic.


Gulyas A O'Hara S (2016) Local News Consumption and Communication Online

ECREA Pre-Conference program: Dealing with the Local: Media, Proximity and

8 November, Prague Czech Republic


O'Hara S (2016) Organisational culture and its influence on strategy in local media.  MeCCSA 2016 Annual Conference,

6th-8th January, Canterbury Christ Church University, UK.


O'Hara S (2015) Organisational culture within local media and how cultural beliefs shape strategic decisions. 

Negotiating Culture: Integrating Legacy and Digital Cultures in News Media, 28th-30th October, Reuters Institute St Catherine's College, Oxford.


School and Faculty Papers

 Bringing Reality into Practice Profession Work Based Learning in the Curriculum

Students as Partners in Learning Shaping their Skills

Faculty Teaching Innovation Conference June 2018


Maximising DHLE Results on Programmes

School of Media, Art and Design Staff Forum 2017


Embedding Real Client Briefs in Teaching

Faculty Teaching Innovation Event June 2017


Student Led Sustainable Learning

School of Media, Art and Design Staff Forum 2016


  Conference Organisation

MeCCSA Annual Conference 6-8 January 2016. Canterbury Christ Church University

  • I was on the conference organising committee which brought in over 200 delegates to Canterbury Christ Church University.


The Future of Local News - 25 January 2018 Centre for Research on Communities and Culture, Canterbury Christ Church

  • I was on the organising committee managing the attendance of panel members


External Examiner Roles

CATS College - University Foundation Programme - External Examiner Media Studies 2017- 2020


University of East London - External Examiner for Media, Fashion and Communications Department 2017 - ongoing


University of Bedfordshire in partnership with Modern Sciences and Arts University, Cairo for External Examiner for Mass Communications (with Advertising and Public Relations) 2018 - ongoing

External Assessor University of Roehampton - Marketing Communications Programme 2019


Publications and research outputs

Book Chapters 

O'Hara S (2020) "What can we learn from Independent Family Owned Local Media Groups?" In: Baines, D and Guylas, A (eds) Companion to Local Media and Journalism Abingdon: Routledge


Referred Journal Articles

Gulyas, A,  O'Hara, S and Eilenburg, J (2018) Experiencing local news online: audience practices and perceptions Journalism Studies, Routledge


Connect with us

Last edited: 11/11/2020 09:15:00