Staff profile

Professor Malcolm Todd

Deputy Vice-Chancellor/Provost (Academic & Student Experience)

Malcolm Todd


Office of the Vice-Chancellor


Kedleston Road, Derby Campus



I am committed to making sure our students have an excellent learning experience and seeking out opportunities for growth and enhancement.

I have research, publishing and grant-funding credentials. I am recognised widely on a national and international scale for contributions to the discipline of Sociology and the wider social sciences and to the study of learning, teaching and assessment. I am Provost (Academic) at the University of Derby and a member of the University Executive Team.

I have a particular interest in how to best support the student learning experience. I was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship in 2014. I have published widely on learning and teaching matters. This work has focused on the themes of learner autonomy, work-based learning and the teaching of 'race' and ethnicity.

I was, until 2010, the Associate Director of the national Subject Centre for Sociology, Anthropology and Politics, part of the Higher Education Academy (HEA). I am a TEF (Teaching Excellence Framework) Pilot Subject Assessor, appointed by the Office for Students.

Professional interests

I am a UK National Teaching Fellow with a particular interest in how to best support student transition into higher education.


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. He famously called for an awakening of the ‘sociological imagination’.

This has influenced my approach to teaching. My starting point is 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 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 process of dialogue. My role in this is to work with students to develop new knowledge of sociological importance in a post-modern, dynamic, society.

These objectives distinguish my deep commitment to achieving individual excellence in my practice:

Membership of professional bodies

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


International experience

I have been actively involved with transnational education. I have developed strong partnership relationships with higher education institutions 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.

Blog Posts

Two people shaking hands over a work desk

Professor Malcolm Todd explains how students and staff have worked together to enhance the academic experience offered by the University of Derby

Professor Malcolm Todd, of the University of Derby, writes about the importance of raising the profile of degree apprenticeships.

Productivity gap - woman working in laboratory

Professor Malcolm Todd, Provost (Academic) at the University of Derby, explains the importance of closing the skills and productivity gap and the role of universities in helping to address the issue.


Professor Malcolm Todd, Provost of the University of Derby, talks about the role higher education plays in promoting skills and employability.

University of Derby is working closely with colleges and the D2N2 local enterprise partnership to develop the higher level skills required in the job market


With the release of the National Student Survey results, Professor Malcolm Todd, Provost (Academic) at the University of Derby, discusses student feedback.