Professor Helen Walkington


Professor of Higher Education

School of Law and Social Sciences


Helen Walkington is Professor of Higher Education in the School of Social Sciences. She teaches Geography and carries out research into higher education pedagogy. Helen established the University-wide student experience project called Get Published! She has been a National Teaching Fellow since 2009 and one of the first people in the UK to be made a Principal Fellow of The Higher Education Academy in 2012.

Helen is an experienced presenter of educational workshops and seminars and has given numerous international conference keynote speeches on linking teaching and research and mentoring student research. She has published widely on pedagogy. She has worked as an advisor to universities, examination boards, The Higher Education Academy and Quality Assurance Agency on aspects of teaching and learning. She has established numerous undergraduate research conferences and journals and was a founding a steering group member of the British Conference of Undergraduate Research (BCUR). She is co-chair of the Society for Research in Higher Education’s Academic Practice Network, co-chair of the International Network for Learning and Teaching (INLT), editor-in-chief of the journal GEOverse and an active editorial board member of the Journal of Geography in Higher Education.

Teaching and supervision

Modules taught


  • Module leader - Environmental Hazard Management (Level 5)
  • Module leader - Conservation and Heritage Management (Level 5)
  • Module leader - Independent Study: Work and Community Related learning (Level 5)
  • Module leader - Independent study in Geography (Level 6)
  • Module leader - Geography Research and Practice (Level 6)

Contributor to

  • Geographical Enquiry and Field Research (Level 5)
  • Dissertation (Level 6)


Helen has supervised 4 doctoral students and 1 master research student to completion.

Research Students

Name Thesis title Completed
Dr Gisele Arruda Promoting sustainable energy literacy through higher education for the Arctic 2019


Helen has a variety of research interests which include:

Learning and teaching in Higher Education

  • Excellence in mentoring undergraduate research (in collaboration with colleagues at Duke University, Elon University, Bridgewater State University and Roanoke College, USA)
  • Students as researchers pedagogy
  • Undergraduate research dissemination
  • Capability theory in the Higher Education curriculum
  • Couragerous  and Compassionate pedagogy

Evidence based environmental management

  • Marley Fen, Wytham Woods (peat core analysis in collaboration with colleagues at Oxford University)

Research impact



Projects as Co-investigator

  • Inequality in access to higher learning: the EPQ as a tool for levelling up(01/09/2023 - 31/08/2025), funded by: Nuffield Foundation, funding amount received by Brookes: £142,614, funded by: Nuffield Foundation


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Professional information

Memberships of professional bodies

  • 2021 Councillor, Royal Geographical Society (Expeditions and Fieldwork division)
  • 2010, Co-Chair of INLT (International Network of Learning and Teaching in Geography in Higher Education)

Further details

Press, publicity and reviews

Editorial and journal review work

Reviewer for Quaternary International, Journal of Archaeological Science, Journal of Quaternary Science,  Geoderma, Higher Education Research and Development, Teaching and Learning Inquiry, Council on Undergraduate Research Quarterly, Journal of Geography in Higher Education, Studies in Higher Education, Higher Education Pedagogies.


  • 2015, Oak Tree, Nature's greatest survivor BBC 4
  • 2014,‘The Fen’ episode 5 of The Laboratory with Leaves - shown in the Oxford University Natural History Museum.
  • 2011, ‘Assessment and feedback,’ ‘supervising undergraduate research’ and ‘Research ethics’ - Video vignettes for Epigeum (an educational consultancy) for staff new to teaching in the US and UK.
  • 1999, BBC TV programme Rocks and Soils in the series Pod's mission.