Robert Collins


  • United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

Personal profile

Personal Statement

Robert Collins is the Course Director for the Bachelor’s Degree programmes in Primary Education within the School of Education. He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and is a member of University Senate. He is also both the School of Education Champion and Executive Implementation Team Lead for Pedagogy in Strathclyde University’s pan-faculty Vertically Integrated Projects for Sustainable Development (VIP4SD) programme. Within the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (HaSS) he holds position as a Lead CCAP Moderator for new modules and courses and is the Appointed Faculty Representative to the University Ordinance Four Appointments Committee. Robert is a regular recipient of student nominations at the Strathclyde Teaching Excellence awards and was presented with the Award for Best Teacher in Faculty of HaSS in 2016-17.


Prior to joining Strathclyde Robert was a Senior Regional Development Officer for STEM and Digital Education and was seconded to work on national research programmes with the Scottish Executive Education Department. He has over thirty years’ experience in teaching and research spanning Primary, Secondary, Higher Education (HE) and Commercial sectors. Uniquely in the School of Education, he also jointly holds professional awards as a Registered Scientist with the UK Science Council and national Chartered Science Teacher status.


Robert has taught and led undergraduate and postgraduate core Primary Sciences, Social Subjects, Technologies and Health & Well-Being within all Initial Teacher Education (ITE) programmes. He has held executive office as a member of BEd (Hons), BA (Hons) and PGDE (Prim.) Course Management Teams, Academic Selector (Undergraduate), Head of Undergraduate Mathematics in BA(Hons)(Prim. Ed.) and is currently Director of Strathclyde’s Certipoint Authorised Test Centre (CATC)  - Scotland’s only HE CATC for the prestigious Microsoft Certified Educator Awards. Robert has published widely within the areas of ITE, STEM and Digital Education and has a proven track record of research and knowledge exchange activity emanating from his related studies at both national and international level.


Robert’s international experience has included an extended period away from the University’s main campus where he advised on international STEM programme development within ITE in the Middle East and for which he received an associated HE Institutional Award. His work in this field also led to strategic partnership with various HE institutions in the Middle East and the establishment of innovative STEM work-based project profile within the School of Education's M.Ed. programme. Additionally, his project work in sub-Saharan Africa led to a Memorandum of Understanding between the Faculty of HaSS and the Gambian Government in 2019 to support Education development and student exchange programmes.


More recently, his VIP in STEM Education and Public Engagement was formally recognised as a sector leading at International Consortia Conference in Atlanta Georgia USA. His related work as part of the wider Strathclyde team aligning VIPs to UN Strategic Development Goals (SDGs) has also been noted as innovative and in strengthening strategic partnership between the University of Strathclyde and the Georgia Institute of Technology. This work in turn has influenced the realignment of US Global Challenges to that of UN SDGs in many US HE institutions. A 2019 recipient of the prestigious Green Gowns Award in HE, his projects in STEM Education in SIMD (0-40) areas are also some of the world’s first joint international VIPs enjoying patronage from both the University of Strathclyde and the Georgia Institute of Technology.


Robert has also extended the School of Education’s internationalisation agenda through creating additional accredited pathways for student study in China, Malawi, Gambia, Germany, Belgium, Sweden and the USA. Robert is regularly consulted by Faculty Directors for Student Mobility, RIO, Engineering and the Strathclyde International Study Centre for his perspective on domestic and international courses development and has recently successfully created the first professional pathways into undergraduate teaching for international students. In 2019-20 Robert was pivotal in establishing the Trojan Guardianship student and academic exchange programme between the University of Southern California and Strathclyde.


In Academic Session 2017-18 Robert led on the successful Review of BA (Hons) Primary Education and associated Joint Honours (Education) content which was awarded GTCS commendation. In Session 2018-19 he was a lead member of the HaSS Faculty Scrutiny Panel helping establish the School of Education’s breakthrough online iPGCE programme. In 2019-20 Robert oversaw the successful pivot migration of BA (Hons) Prim. Ed. course to online provision in light of the COVID 19 crisis. He is passionate about enhancing the quality of courses and student experience at the University of Strathclyde and in the development of innovative and purposeful student-led professional development. He has been instrumental in leading the development of unified assessment and centralised online evaluations formats for BA (Hons) (Prim. Ed.) and in advising on a uniform Moodle module template for across all HaSS Courses with their Learning Technologies Team.


Robert is a member of the national ITE Primary & Early Years Forum:  Universities' Council for the Education of Teachers (UCET). He has also maintained an active membership of the Faculty of HASS Board of Study, Faculty Academic Committee and Faculty Course Leaders Committee. At a local level he is a very valued member of School of Education’s Professional Course Leaders Committee, GDPR Course Compliance Team, Digital Pedagogies Committee and a regular member of the School’s Interview Panel regarding staff recruitment.

Research Interests

My current research  focuses on the investigation of student and practitioner identity development within STEM Education. This includes investigation into participant confidence in  and related investigation of enhanced pedagogical approaches towards effective educational provision. This work has linked to my previous studies on the nature and impact of virtual provision of online Mathematics and Science Education, as well as the associated field of Education for Global Citizenship & Sustainable Development and Vertically Integrated pedgaogy. These research strands have resulted in a wide range of high profile publication and knowledge exchange activities, as well as the delivery of a variety of other associated practitioner Career Long Professional Learning programmes both at home and abroad.

Teaching Interests

I am currently the Course Director of bachelor's degree programmes in the School of Education where I oversee all aspects of ITE undergraduate teaching at the University of Strathclyde. Additionally, as the University's Education Lead for the Vertically Integrated Projects initiative I also have responsibility for evaluating new research projects within the Faculty of HASS and the wider University.

I am also currently responsible for directing student and staff preparation regarding CATC activity for MCE award within the University's ITE BA (Hons) course, as well as developing and delivering ITE undergraduate and postgraduate STEM, ICT, Educational Studies and Practicum modules. Additionally I have had responsibility for leading the STEM project-based learning modules suite as part of the revised M.Ed. programme within the Faculty of HASS. I also supervise students in STEM undergraduate research theses and postgraduate Masters modules.

Beyond core courses I also hold roles as Primary ITE Representative of the University’s innovative Fabrication Laboratory and am a co-founder of the School of Education’s Excellence in STEM Education body. I am also the creator and developer of the School of Education's innovative STEM Education & Public Engagement Vertically Integrated Project, the first fully accredited VIP project within the School of Education.

I have also held posts as an External Examiner with Aberdeen University on their STEM Masters programme and as a visiting academic in STEM subjects for a national ITE establishment in the Middle East.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action

Education/Academic qualification

Chartered Science Teacher, Chartered Science Teacher

Award Date: 14 May 2014

RSci, Registered Scientist

Award Date: 14 May 2014

Master of Science, University of Strathclyde

Award Date: 1 Jan 2008

Bachelor of Science, University of Glasgow

Award Date: 1 Jan 1990


  • Science teacher education
  • Science (General)


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