Christine Edmead

Edmead,-Christine-(2).jpg  Career progression

  1. Pharmacology BSc

  2. PhD student

  3. Research and teaching role

  4. Director of Studies at Bath


Christine is a Senior Lecturer/ Director of Studies at the University of Bath.

What is your career pathway to date (including your education)?

I completed A levels in Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics but had a greater interest in biological sciences. Researching pharmacy lead me to stumble across pharmacology and a degree at the University of Bath, with a placement year spent at GlaxoSmithKline. Following a PhD, I progressed to Imperial College London as a postdoc, but when my supervisor relocated to Edinburgh, I moved to the Thrombosis Research Institute. With personal life pulling me back to the West Country, I undertook a postdoctoral position in Bristol before returning to Bath. Covering a colleague’s research sabbatical, I took over her teaching as a temporary lecturer. On her return, I continued lecturing part time but took a secondment role in the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Office, running projects to look at enhancing student engagement and interaction and supporting staff development of teaching practice. During this time I became a teaching fellow and a fellow of the HEA. I returned to Pharmacology full time as Director of Studies and gained both promotion to Senior Teaching Fellow and Senior Fellow of the HEA. Gaining recognition as a National Teaching Fellow and a position on the BPS Education and Training committee now brings me to my current position.

What do you do? What does a typical week look like to you?

As a Teaching Fellow, I spend a large amount of my week, teaching and interacting with students. I teach across all four years of both the Pharmacy and Pharmacology programmes. The teaching is very varied both in terms of the topics and the environments; from formal style lectures, to interactive case study-based workshops, to practical laboratory classes. I endeavour to make my sessions as interactive as possible using flipped approaches to teaching, in class discussions and quizzes and analytical problems. I encourage students to ask and answer questions, take ownership of the lecture and develop a positive self and peer critical approach.

In my role as Director of Studies, I am constantly reviewing the programme to ensure there is a logical flow and progression to the teaching and skills development both at the learning and assessment stages. I work with my colleagues to ensure the smooth running of the programme and discuss, plan and implement necessary changes. I meet for discussions with students about their progression and support or options available to them.

At least once a week, we will have an administrative meeting to discuss the running of the programmes, new plans for development and to hear and respond to student feedback. Additionally, I sit on a number of faculty and university wide committees to discuss more strategic approaches to the operation of teaching and learning issues.

Although as a teaching fellow, I am not required to undertake research, I am continually reviewing my teaching approaches and developing and evaluating resources to enhance student engagement with their learning which has involved the design and development of online resources.

Finally, during my time at Bath, I have made many friends and I am often asked for advice on ongoing reviews and projects which are obviously best discussed over coffee!

What do you like and dislike the most about your current position?

What I like best about my current role is interacting with students; engaging them in discussion and supporting their learning and deeper exploration of topics. There is no greater satisfaction than sparking their interest and motivation. Additionally, I like the variety of my role; no two days are the same.

What I like least about my current role is there never seems to be enough time to complete everything I would like to do, at to the level I would like to achieve. When an interesting project or challenge comes along, I find it hard to say no!

How do you see your career further progressing in the future?

I would like to continue to promote good teaching and collaborate and support others in the design and development of effective and engaging teaching approaches and resources. I am working towards becoming a professor, which is a little more challenging on the teaching than research route. I strongly believe in continually pushing to raise the profile and recognition of teaching in universities to equal that of research as both are essential for the students’ education and future careers. Additionally, being passionate about my own subject, I am keen to continue to raise the profile of Pharmacology as a discipline.

What three pieces of advice would you give someone keen on developing a career in your area of work?

  1. Evaluate each opportunity as it arises; career paths are never as straight as originally intended and sometimes diversions can be very beneficial providing experience and contacts that prove useful further down the road.
  2. Interact with as many people as possible and make lots of friends, then there is always someone to turn to for help and advice when you need it.
  3. Make time for the aspects of the job you enjoy- the rest must be done but it’s beneficial for everyone you interact with if you look forward to your day.‚Äč

Published: 25 Aug 2020 in Academic and NHS