Isabel Lucas

  • Head of CAPE, and Head of Learning and Teaching Development, Academic Quality Development Service
  • Academic Quality and Development
  • Learning, Education & Development Research Centre
  • Education
 Isabel Lucas


I have been teaching in various ways for nearly 30 years, starting with teaching Principles of Flight to cadets, then teaching English to international learners at home and abroad and later teacher-training in ELT (English Language Teaching). Following a number of years working in academies, schools, universities and businesses in Spain, Italy, Switzerland and New Zealand, I returned to the UK to work in Higher Education. Starting as an hourly-paid Lecturer in HE I worked my way up to a Dean (HE) and a Director (FE) gathering a broad range of experience at various levels in academic roles and within professional services. This experience spans undergraduate, postgraduate, commercial courses, apprenticeships, UK collaborative provision, international (Asia, Middle East, Europe), quality, business development, student experience and staff development. I draw on this bank of experience daily to support and work effectively with colleagues to develop themselves, their practice and in turn, the futures of their students.

I have always been committed to teaching as a way of empowering individuals and supporting them to make positive contributions to their families and in the communities in which they live and work. Please feel free to get in touch if you have similar interests!

Qualifications and memberships

BA (Hons) Spanish with Media and Cultural Studies

MA in Education (Applied Linguistics)

MBA Educational Leadership (ongoing)

Cert TEFL, International House

Senior Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy

Top Management Programme (TMP35), Leadership Foundation for Higher Education


Academic and research interests

My current research interests are within Academic Practice (the 'craft' of teaching and modified teacher discourse), and  approaches to Curriculum Development. I am also interested in the development of 'expertise' from a novice base.

As part of my role as Higher Education theme lead within the Learning, Development and Research Centre, I run the internal Special Interest Group for Student Experience and host a cross University group that focusses on forging a strong relationship between teaching and research.



Lucas, I., Clay, J., & Witton, R. (2021) Supporting Student Transitions into HE from a COVID Context, national online resource disseminated via Jisc and Advance HE


Lucas, I. & Chapman, A. (2021) forthcoming: Storyboarding and Suggestopedia for Curriculum Re-design, Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education, special edition

White, A., Lucas, I. & Chapman, A. (2021) forthcoming: Digital Capabilities, from Niche to Normal, Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education, special edition

Donnelly, I (2008): Using a Research informed Teaching Approach; case study in IMPACT, UCLan  Donnelly, I & Barnes, L (2010): BASE On-line English Language Course for Deaf Learners (output as part of an EU bid) 

DonnellyI & Barnes. L (2011) Teaching Toolkit for Deaf Peer Educators, Ishara Press 

Conference – The Niche of Expertise, PGR student conference, Lancaster, 2005 

Conference – Modified Discourse in the Classroom, PGR student conference, Lancaster, 2007 

Conference – Showcasing the UCLan Language Support Programme, ASIA/UKOSA, 2007 

Conference – The Development of Expertise in the EFL Classroom, University of Canterbury Christchurch, 2008 

Conference – Intercultural Communication Issues for International Business, UKTi event, 2012 

Conference – The Digital Shift, invited speaker, Hanyang Cyber University, Seoul, South Korea, 2012 

Conference – The Next Steps for Devolution: Delivering the Northern Powerhouse, Inside Government, Manchester, 2016 (Chair by invitation) 

Conference: Convenor of the University of Cumbria’s Annual Learning and Teaching Fest (2019, 2020, 2021)

Keynote Speaker: Teaching and Learning in the Digital Age, NCUK inaugural Global Conference; September 2021

Conference: From Digital Resistance to Enhanced Capability: Negotiating a pathway of change; SEDA Summer Conference ‘Brighter Future – Opportunities for Educational Change’ (2021)

Conference: Convenor and Session Lead, HEDG Members’ Conference: Planning the Future of Teaching and Learning (March 2021)

Conference: Convenor of a national Shareshop: Supporting Student Transition to HE for 2021/2. Event co-hosted with Jisc and facilitated by Advance HE (May 2021)

Conference: Session Lead, HEDG Members’ Conference: Working Collaboratively as Educational Developer’s – stakeholder analysis session (June 2021)

Recent external roles

Vice-Chair / Executive Member of the Heads of Educational Development Group (HEDG)

Board Member (Academic Quality) of Northern Consortium UK (NCUK)

Founder Governor, St Gerard's RC Primary School

Independent Assessor for the Academic Professional Level 7 Apprenticeship with Advance HE

CATE reviewer, Advance HE

QAA Reviwer (international)