Robert Collins


  • United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students


Research output per year

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Personal profile

Personal Statement

Robert Collins is the Course Director for the bachelor’s degree programmes in Primary Education within the School of Education and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. He is the Education Lead of the University’s Vertically Integrated Projects (VIP) Implementation Executive and is the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (HaSS) Appointed Representative to the University Ordinance Four Appointments Committee. He 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.


Prior to joining Strathclyde in 2003 Robert was a Regional Development Officer for STEM Education and was briefly Seconded to work with the Scottish Executive Education Department. He has over twenty-five years’ experience involving teaching and research spanning Primary, Secondary and Higher Education (HE) sectors. Uniquely in the School of Education he also jointly holds active awards as Registered Scientist with the UK Science Council and 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 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, Digital Literacies and STEM 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.


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.


Robert has also extended the School of Education’s internationalisation agenda through creating additional accredited pathways for student study in China, Malawi, Ghana, Germany, Belgium, Sweden and the USA. Robert is regularly consulted by Faculty Directors for Student Mobility, RIO 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 Academic Session 2017-18 Robert led on the successful Review of BA (Hons) Primary Education and associated Joint Honours (Education) content. 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 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 level he is a very valued member of School of Education’s Professional Course Leaders Committee, GDPR Course Compliance Team 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.

Education/Academic qualification

Chartered Science Teacher

Registered Scientist

Master of Science, University of Strathclyde

Bachelor of Science, University of Glasgow


  • Science teacher education
  • Science (General)

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Research Output

Vertically Integrated Project : STEM education & public engagement

Collins, R., 19 Apr 2019, p. 16-17. 2 p.

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

  • VIP STEM Education & Public Engagement (International): Gambia Project 2019

    Collins, R. & Catlin, J., 1 Aug 2019, Glasgow: University of Strathclyde. 17 p.

    Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

    Open Access
  • Activities

    University of Strathclyde Annual VIP Conference 2017

    Robert Collins (Participant)
    29 Mar 2017

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganiser of major conference

    Vertically Integrated Projects in STEM Education

    Robert Collins (Speaker)
    8 Jan 2017

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk