Laura O'Brien

Associate Lecturer

On leaving school I initially studied Mental Health Nursing and had a keen interest in supporting others due to my own life experiences in and out of education. I also had a keen interest in researching the impact of stress and mental health and decided I would like to further my abilities and underpin my own ideas with relevant knowledge and research. I became interested in questions such as ‘why individuals choose crime, was this because of a lack of networks to support them .This experience informed my choice of degree. My first University I studied at was overcrowded and the support system was extremely difficult to engage in and you constantly felt lost. After some research I found a small diverse facility with fantastic support mechanisms. I therefore enrolled at The University of Bolton on the Criminological and Forensic Psychology Pathway BSc (Hons). On completion of my degree and the impact tutors had on me I chose teaching and stayed at the University of Bolton. Throughout my time on my course the tutors were friendly and gave excellent opportunities to progress. Through the internship and collaboration with the Department of Education the Fe teaching Lead was developed and delivered. The opportunities provided by the University have in fact led me to now achieving a full teaching qualification, Masters in Educational Leadership and a permanent position. The university is a place where passion and curiosity can create resilient and gritty learners. Which will be further expanded on this year when I start the process of achieving my doctorate. With retention of teachers at an all-time low, it is now more than ever that mental health and the effects of stress are resolved through modules on coping and managing to enable resilient students and professionals alike. My interest in this area is consistently developing and remains an important aspect in my own learning.

Research Interests and Research Subject Specialisms:
My Masters’ thesis was titled ‘Growing Gritty Educators’, there have been many factors in resilience and many researchers have identified no way of teaching- it is innate yet it can be developed. My key area of interest is not only how individual students bounce back but how we as educators can use our own scenarios to build a coping mechanism. Furthermore to engage all learners in a kinesthetic way to incorporate creativity through alternate assessment methods. Finally, the use of conference style learning as a tool for effective professional graduates.

Teaching Responsibilities:
I am an Associate Lecturer for the Fast Track Programme and also work closely with Bolton College as the access liaison coordinator. I am responsible for modules on the fast track course and teach academic skills that prepare students for life in academia.

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Part of the University of Bolton Group

Bolton college
Alliance learning
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TEF Silver
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iip Logo