Staff profile

Dr Alan R Williams


Academic Lead

Alan Williams standing with hands clasped, wearing a red and white striped shirt


Counselling, Midwifery, Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Psychology, Public Health and Social Care, Radiography


School of Nursing and Midwifery




University of Derby Online Learning



I am an Academic Lead at the University of Derby, leading the professional doctorate for the College of Health, Psychology and Social Care. I have been an academic since 2006, moving to higher education after a 20+year career in the NHS as a Registered Nurse. My nursing career commenced in Whitechapel, London in the 1980s, before I moved to work primarily in emergency care, resuscitation and resuscitation education in the Midlands in the United Kingdom.

In 2006 I moved from the NHS to the University of Nottingham, focussing on pre-registration nursing education at undergraduate and postgraduate level. My roles included Admissions Tutor, Deputy Programme Lead, Module Lead, and a Faculty Fitness to Practice investigator and panel member. My doctoral studies investigated how students and tutors design online learning resources.

Moving to the University of Derby in April 2019 to lead the online nursing and health portfolio enabled me to combine my teaching and research interests. Since August 2022 I lead the Doctorate in Health and Social Care Practice (DPrac) programme. This is an online professional doctorate in the College of Health, Psychology and Social Care attracting students from a range of nursing, health and social care environments across the world.

My aim is to develop knowledge and practice and support students and colleagues, so all can provide the best for people they interact with during their career.

Teaching responsibilities

I lead the Doctorate in Health and Social Care Practice (DPrac) programme and lead and teach on postgraduate taught and research modules (7EU502 Developing Strategies and Skills for Professional Doctoral Research and Study, 8DP002 Independent Scholarly Activity for Health and Social Care Practice and 8DP001 Independent Scholarship for Professional Practice and Service Development).

I am a Resuscitation Council UK Advanced Life Support and Generic Instructor Course Instructor. I enjoy sharing my clinical and pedagogic knowledge across the UK with health professionals embarking on a clinical career, and especially with those who have been identified as potential instructors. As part of Faculty on these course I take every opportunity to learn from my peers.

Professional interests

Deputy Chair of the College Research Committee (CRC) Part B Student Matters Feb 2023 to present.

Member of the CRC Part A Research Environment and University Innovation and Research Committee (UIRC) Autumn 2022 to present.

Elected Member of Resuscitation Council UK Executive Committee Nov 2021 for three year term.

Since 2021 I have been a Reviewer for the University Pathfinder Scheme, supporting colleagues in achieving Senior Fellowship of Advance HE.

Regular member of University Validation Panels and appointed as a Panel Chair in 2022 shaping how programmes can best support University values and be attractive to prospective applicants and students.

Member of Online Learning Research Ethics Committee 2019-2020.

Co-Chair Association for Learning Technology Conference 2019 (Edinburgh) and 2022 (Manchester).

University Panel Member, Quality Assurance Agency, Quality and Standards Review Dec 2019.

Facilitate the University Online Authoring Workshop with colleagues, drawing from my extensive online experience at Derby and previously.

Reviewer for Research in Learning & Technology and Nurse Education in Practice (June 2018, NEiP Reviewer of the Month)

I have been External Examiner at:

University Member of NMC Approval Panel for University of Nottingham Mentor Preparation course 2012

As a Registered Nurse since 1988 I have used the clinical knowledge and experience gained as a health professional and applied these principles (clarity, judgement, compassion, attention to detail) to my academic career in shaping health professionals of the future and now those having an impact on practice. Integral to this is my involvement in the Resuscitation Council UK not only as an elected member of the Executive Committee but for over 25 years as an Instructor on adult and paediatric life support courses and by influencing the learning of future instructors.

Research interests

My research and scholarship interests relate to:

1. My doctoral studies investigating the design of learning objects by students and by tutors and how technology can be used to enhance student learning and experience. For my doctoral studies I used video analysis software to understand how groups of students and tutors’ function when designing a learning object on resuscitation knowledge, before developing each group’s resource and randomising junior nursing students to establish the learning gain of a student and separately tutor designed resource.

2. Enhancing the student experience of teaching and learning, whether that is with learners in university or external organisations such as with Resuscitation Council UK nationally accredited life support courses.

Membership of professional bodies


Recent conferences

Invited Speaker

Mackie, K., Benson-Clarke, A., Bolton, J. Couper, K., Davies, R., Greig, P., Hall, M., Hamilton-Bower, I., Williams, A. and Yeung, J. (2022) The new look ALS recertification course – workshop. Resuscitation Council UK Conference 30 Nov-1 Dec 2022, Birmingham, UK

Williams, A. (2018) Joint presentation on admissions to nursing programmes. The University of Birmingham and University of Nottingham London Careers Advisers' and Teacher Conference. UUK, Woburn House, Tavistock Square, London, UK. 2 May.

Williams, A., (2017) Invited to present the University of Nottingham Multiple Mini Interview approach for selecting applicants to the Graduate Entry Nursing  (GEN) programme. University of Surrey. UK 27 Jun. 

International Conference

Williams, A.  and Royal-Fearn, J. (2022) Developing Online Learning in Health and Social Care through the principles of 4C’s. 8th International Nurse Education Conference; From education to impact: Transforming nursing and midwifery education. 19-22 Oct 2022 Sitges, Barcelona, Spain.

Williams A., Windle R., and Wharrad H. (2014) Student generated and tutor generated web based resuscitation education resources – Mind the gap? European Resuscitation Council Congress. May 2014 Presented in Bilbao, Spain

Windle, R.J, Wharrad, H., Laverty, H., Keay, C., Hallawell, B. & Williams, A., 2008. Student Generated Content: Permanent Footprints or Shifting Sand? In: Online Educa Berlin 2008 -14th International Conference on Technology Supported Learning and Training, Berlin, Germany.

Williams A., (2004) Basic life support refresher training for nurses: a comparison of instructor and video led sessions. Oral and Poster presentation 7th Scientific Congress of the European Resuscitation Council. Budapest, Hungary. 8-11 Sep 2004.Williams A., (2002) In-hospital cardiac arrest survivors – the Burton Experience Poster presentation 6th Scientific Congress of the European Resuscitation Council. Florence, Italy. 3-5 October 2002. Travel Bursary of £500 awarded from CPRO.

Williams A., (2000) Pre-hospital cardiac arrest survivors – the Burton Experience Poster presentation 5th Scientific Congress of the European Resuscitation Council. Antwerp, Belgium. 1-3 June 2000.

Williams A., (1998) Team leaders at cardiac arrest. Poster presentation 5th Scientific Congress of the European Resuscitation Council. Copenhagen. Denmark. 5-6 June 1998

UK Conference/Presentations

Williams, A., Chircop, J. and Spink, R. (2022) A model of online tutoring to accommodate increased student numbers. ALTC22: ALT Annual Conference 2022 6-8 Sep 2022, Manchester. UK.

Williams, A. (2021) Style Guides in Office student webinar. Digital Skills, StudyFest, University of Derby. Available at:

Williams, A (2020) Presentation to Associate Degree nursing and healthcare students. How COVID-19 has affected health care in the UK. (Via Zoom). Galen University, Florida USA. 30 April 2020.

Williams, A., Wharrad, H. and Windle, R. (2015) How are storyboards created by students and tutors for the development of Reusable Learning Objects? Proceedings of the Association of Learning Technology, 8-11 September 2015 Manchester, England. Available at

Williams A., (2012) A comparison of student and tutor created web-based educational resources Student Research Conference. 30 June 2012. The University of Nottingham.

Williams A., (2012) A comparison of student and tutor created web-based educational resources. Articulate Conference. 24 May 2012 The University of Leeds.

Experience in industry

My clinical career as a Registered Nurse commenced in 1984 at The (Royal) London Hospital, Whitechapel, London where I was a student nurse on the Integrated RGN/RMN (a programme to gain registration as a nurse with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (was the UKCC or United Kingdom Central Council for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting to give its full title).

I registered as a nurse in 1988 and worked for a year on a Head Injury Rehabilitation Unit, Devonshire Royal Hospital in Buxton, Derbyshire, now part of the University of Derby before undertaking a post basic course in Accident and Emergency Nursing at Stockport. On completion in 1990 I moved to the Derbyshire Royal Infirmary working at the Emergency Department as a Staff Nurse then Charge Nurse and in 1996 moved to be a Resuscitation Officer at Queens Hospital, Burton (now part of the University Hospitals Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust). By this time I was a Resuscitation Council UK Advanced Life Support (ALS) Instructor and gained paediatric equivalent course instructor status (Advanced Paediatric Life Support and Paediatric Advanced Life Support courses).

At Burton I set up the Burton ALS Course Centre accredited by the Resuscitation Council UK organising and directing courses every year. As an ALS Centre I also offered the Immediate Life Support course and was elected as Regional Representative for ALS Courses in the West Midlands. This voluntary role involved supporting Course Centres across the region and ensuring quality standards in the delivery of education were maintained.

Additional interests and activities

Outside work I am an enthusiast for parkrun, participating in my local event (Markeaton) and volunteering undertaking all roles and am currently Co-Event Director. With my professional background I lead on medical and first aid matters and promote the benefits of exercise and volunteering. As Co-event director I liaise with local running clubs (e.g. Mickleover Running Club) and national initiatives such as the Royal College of General Practitioners Practice parkrun and 5KYourWay. When I participate I am very slow, but enjoy completing the course. In the better weather I also enjoy road cycling and am a qualified match official for grassroots rugby league.

Recent publications

O’Neill, K. and Williams, A. (2021) Does prophylactic clipping reduce the incidence of delayed bleeding in patients undergoing endoscopic resection of colonic polyps? A rapid evidence assessment review. Gastrointestinal Nursing. 19(8):S22-31

Kotera, Y., Spink, R., Brooks-Ucheaga, M., Green, P., Rawson, R., Rhodes, C., Chircop, J. Williams, A., Okere, U. Lyte, G. (2021) Teaching Healthcare Professional Students in Online Learning during COVID-19: Reflection of University Lecturers. Journal of Concurrent Disorders. Available at:

Kotera, Y., Green, P. Rhodes, C. Williams, A. Chircop, J., Spink, R., Rawson, R. and Okere, U. (2020) Dealing with Isolation Using Online Morning Huddles for University Lecturers during Social Isolation by COVID-19: Field Notes. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 21(4), 238-244.

Williams, A., Windle, R. and Wharrad, H. (2020) How will Education 4.0 influence learning in higher education?, Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education. Plymouth, UK, (17). Available at:

Williams, A. (2020) International Nurses Day 2020: The importance of the healthcare sector to society. Available at:

Williams, A. (2018) An investigation uncovering how students and how tutors design learning objects for novice students to use when acquiring established resuscitation knowledge. DHSci thesis, University of Nottingham. Available at:

Williams, A. (2018) Student learning. Tracksys. Available at:

Williams, A., Wharrad, H. and Windle, R. (2015) How are storyboards created by students and tutors for the development of Reusable Learning Objects? Proceedings of the Association of Learning Technology, 8-11 September 2015 Manchester, England. Available at:

Williams A. (2015) Introduction to Theatres Reusable Learning Object. (Publication 2015 under Creative Commons licence) Available at:

Williams A., Windle R., and Wharrad H. (2014) Student generated and tutor generated web based resuscitation education resources – Mind the gap? Presented in Bilbao, Spain

Williams A., (2012) A comparison of student and tutor created web-based educational resources Articulate Conference 24 May 2012 Leeds

Williams A., Mostyn. A. and Fyson R. (2009) Nursing and social work students’ perceptions of lecturing by non-university practitioners. Journal of Interprofessional Care 9(1) 98-100

Windle R., Wharrad H. , Laverty H., Keay R., Hallawell, R., and Williams, A. (2008) Student generated content – permanent footprints or shifting sands. Paper presented at Online Educa Berlin:ICWA.


Dr Alan Williams, Academic Lead for Nursing and Perioperative Practice at the University of Derby, marks International Nurses Day 2020 (May 12) by discussing why he is proud of his profession and the wider healthcare sector and why it should be celebrated and appreciated all year round.