Staff profile

Helen Boulton


Collaborative Partnerships Manager, Institute of Education

Helen Boulton staff profile picture


Teacher Training


College of Arts, Humanities and Education


Institute of Education


Kedleston Road, Derby Campus



My role as Collaborative Partnerships Manager means that I look after all the UK collaborative partner FE Colleges and other education-related organisations that the Institute of Education works with. At present, we have around 13 partner institutions delivering education programmes across the UK and programmes include foundation degrees, top-up degrees and bespoke professional qualifications. We also work with two international organisations who deliver our programmes from level four to level seven.

In addition, I manage the Derby English Language Centre (DELC), which provides a number of English language programmes for international students. This includes the International Foundation Programme (IFP) and as well as English for Academic Purposes (EAP). The area also provides in-sessional English language support for international students to support them whilst they are on-programme with us. We also do a lot of work with Chinese partners, including delivery of EAP programmes in-country and IETLS equivalency testing.

Teaching responsibilities

I am involved in the Postgraduate Certificate in Education Post 14 (Education and Training), including the observation of trainee teachers, and am module leader for and teach on the Curriculum in Context module.

Professional interests

I have an interest in FE in HE and what that means to colleges and their students.

I have also been External Examiner for a number of HEIs, most recently with Sheffield Hallam University.

Research interests

My MA Independent Study focused on what tutors understood by “level seven” in relation to teaching on a programme that moved from being purely level six to one that had level seven modules included. It explored how tutors felt about teaching at that level and how it might impact on them and their professional development.

Membership of professional bodies

  • Senior Fellow of Advance HE 
  • Member of the Society of Education and Training


Recent conferences

Experience in industry

I have extensive experience working in further education, from being a tutor, then programme leader in a variety of FE Colleges to continuing to work with FE partners colleagues and managers since joining the University of Derby in 2009. At the University, was programme leader for the PGCE Post 14 for around eight years before becoming Collaborative Partnerships Manager in 2017.

I have taught business studies, human resource management and teacher training whilst in colleges then concentrated on the teacher training suite of programmes at the University. My current role ensures I remain connected to the FE sector whilst working in higher education.

International experience

I manage the programmes we deliver out in China, working with our partners out there as well as working with international students and the DELC team to ensure that our programmes are relevant, compliant and fit for purpose. We also have two international partners delivering our programmes so work closely with programme teams and managers here and in-country to ensure that they run smoothly.

Recent publications

Continuing Professional Development in the Lifelong Learning Sector (2013). Scales, P. Pickering, J. Headley, K. Garner, P, Senior, L & Boulton, H. McGraw Hill.