Professor Malcolm J Todd

Malcolm Todd

Position: Pro Vice-Chancellor Student Experience (Dean of College of Law, Humanities and Social Sciences)

Department: Executive

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Dean of College of Law, Humanities and Social Sciences

I am the founding Dean of the College of Law, Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Derby and Professor of Social Science Education. I am a member of the Corporate Management Team. The College includes the following subject groups:

  • Law
  • Criminology
  • Criminology and Criminal Psychology
  • Police Studies
  • International Police Studies
  • Security and Intelligence
  • Sociology
  • International Relations
  • History
  • English
  • American Studies
  • Creative Writing
  • Journalism
  • Media and TV Studies

Professional interests

I am a UK National Teaching Fellow with a particular interest in how to best support student transition into HE.  I have published widely on learning and teaching matters in the social sciences, especially around the themes of learner autonomy, work-based learning and the teaching of 'race' and ethnicity. See some examples of my publications below.

Research interests

What motivates me, as a Sociologist, is the need to better understand the ‘super-complex’, multifaceted and fluid world that surrounds us. My vision for excellent teaching and learning in higher-education was inspired, early in my academic career, by CW-Mills who famously called for an awakening of the ‘Sociological Imagination’. In this sense, I take as a starting point to pedagogy the creation of structured learning landscapes that foster and enable a deep, critical, sociological curiosity. Students are expected to ask, and then seek answers to, important ontological and epistemological questions about a world of ever-rapid change, challenge and uncertainty. I am a fervent advocate of learning through the social scientific research and inquiry process. I have been influenced by writers like Wilhem von Humboldt who called for the incorporation of research-based study for all undergraduate students. I see learning in higher-education as a dialogical process where my role is to work in collaboration with students to develop new knowledge of sociological importance in a post-modern, dynamic, society. There are a number of overarching objectives that distinguish my deep commitment to achieving individual excellence in my practice. I aim to:

  • promote and support learning and teaching interventions that prepare students for the disturbances and uncertainty of their own futures, and thus augment greater critical thinking and learner autonomy
  • prepare students for a world of work where they can function and engage cross-culturally
  • embed student support structures within my own and institutional practice
  • be at the forefront of research engaged teaching to help student learning
  • provide enthusiasm and energy that empowers students to feel excited and enriched, but at all times challenged by their learning experiences.

Membership of professional bodies

I was, until 2010, the Associate Director of the national Subject Centre for Sociology, Anthropology and Politics, part of the Higher Education Academy (HEA). Currently, I am leading on a national project for the HEA and HEFCE on teaching about Islam in the Social Sciences. I was a Trustee of the British Sociology Association and member of the Heads and Professors of Sociology.


  • National Teaching Fellow
  • PhD
  • Post Graduate Certificate in Research Methods
  • BA (Hons) Applied Social Sciences

Recent publications


Recent conferences


International experience

I have been actively involved with transnational education, developing strong partnership relationships with HEIs in Hong Kong, the Netherlands and the USA. I have chaired validation and institutional approval events in the UK, mainland Europe, Malaysia, China and Hong Kong.

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