Staff profile

Richard Self

Senior Lecturer in Analytics and Governance

Richard smiling, wearing a blue shirt




College of Science and Engineering


School of Computing and Engineering


Markeaton Street and Britannia Mill Studios



My focus is on inspiring students to evaluate their personal and employability skills and then to develop their full range of skills in order to become the most employable graduates in the market. This is based on research into a range of teaching and assessment approaches that can demonstrate measurable improvements in their academic skills and in their transferable skills. This research is published at conferences and in journals.

Teaching responsibilities

I teach on the BSc IT programme, and cover the module for the second year called IT Services Management which is all about how to design and implement services that are useful to the customers and users.

I teach the Sustainable Information and Corporate Governance module for the third year which is closely related to the paper that I presented in Toronto in October 2012.

I teach both the Enterprise Systems and the Information Security and Assurance third year modules.

I am  co-leader of the introduction of SAS and Business Analytics into the Computing programmes.

I supervise a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate dissertations and have supervising several PhD students including topics such as e-learning, knowledge management and management practices in local government in Jordan.

Professional interests

The biggest question and my main focus in the field of Informatics  are the govenance issues raised by Big Data Analytics. Recent issues relate to the problem of TechnoStress and the Accuracy of Location Services on Smart Devices.

I am heavily involved in the Big Data and Analytics Educational Conference series and co-chaired the BDA EdCon 2014 and 2015 conferences in Las Vegas (2014) and Puerto Rico (2015).

Research interests

My current research interests are focussed in two directions;

Current research in the pedagogic focus is towards better ways of using contact time and structuring assessments to improve the quality of students work. Very recent research provides very strong quantitative evidence of the powerful impact of  working with individuals during seminars and workshops. It can be worth between 5% and 25% in terms of the marks achieved.

I am also researching ways of helping students to develop more effective research skills through different ways of teaching. I am currently assessing the impact of small group lab based teaching where all students have full access to all e-resources, using seminars and workshops.

My analytics and informatics interests are focussed towards understanding  the contexts in which IT can make a difference and those in which it fails to deliver the planned results. A recent area was a project to evaluate the phenomenon of TechnoStress. 16 of my third year students worked with me on this project. The conference paper that I published in Salamanca in July 2012, based on the research of Conrad Aquilina for his MSc SITM dissertation, was the starting point for this research.

I am also leading a team of undergraduates who are researching into the scale of errors in smart device Location Based Services. The results of this research has now been published at several conferences during 2015.

Membership of professional bodies


Undergraduate qualifications

Postgraduate qualifications

Recent conferences

Experience in industry

I spent 30 years in the Aerospace industry, managing the development, and delivery of IT based solutions to many parts of the commercial and engineering organizations within Rolls-Royce Group plc. During this time, my focus was on using practical but "technology stretching" approaches to meet the customers' operational needs.

My final projects at Rolls - Royce involved responsibility for the delivery of the technical infrastructures for over 6000 staff in both the business and engineering organisations with a budget of over £12M for technical infrastructure provision.

I also run a three day workshop entitled Strategic Problem Solving, which has been very well received in Botswana at the Botswana Defence Force Staff College and at the First National bank of Botswana and other organisations in Malawi and South Africa.

International experience

During the period of 2008 through to 2010 I ran the Strategic Problem Solving course in Botswana, Malawi and South Africa as consultancy to a range of organisations in the Banking, Telecoms and Defence sectors.

I led the National e-Learning Seminar for Botswana at the Botswana Accountancy College in Gaborone, Botswana on 22 May 2009.

Additional interests and activities

My objective is to help our students to succeed and to be the most employable students in the market.

This results in my passionate focus on two key areas of personal development which informs all my teaching and research; self knowledge and reflection, and clarity of analysis and thinking in all that we do (critical thinking). I aim to defuse all "magic silver bullets" and to enable all my students to do the same.

In the media

Interview by East Midlands Today about congestion charging in January 2007.

Interview by SearchData Management / TechTarget on 6 November 2013 at the IBM Information Demand conference in Las Vegas.

Interviewed by SAS® at the SAS Careers Fair on 28 November 2013 at Brunel University, UK.

Interviewed by SAS at the SAS Analytics 2014 conference in Frankfurt on 4 June 2014, on the topic of developing Analytics skills by research and creating Industry Partnerships to address the Analytics Skills gap.

Recent publications

Book and Chapter Contributions

Outstanding Student Achievement: A Journey of Pedagogy Informed and Confirmed by Analytics, in Developing Effective Educational Experiences through Learning Analytics, Anderson, M. and Gavan, C. (Eds), Information Science Reference ( IGI), 2016, ISBN is 978-1-4666-9983-0.

Tools and Technologies for the Implementation of Big Data (with D Voorhis) in Application of Big Data for National Security, B Akhgar, G B Saathoff, H R Arabnia, R Hill, S Stqaniforth and P S Bayerl (Eds), Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford, 2015

Refereed Papers and Conferences

Computer code. Credit: Markus Spiske

What have we learned from the plethora of data being used to analyse and plan the response to the Covid-19 pandemic? Richard J Self, Senior Lecturer in Governance of Advanced and Emerging Technologies, argues that one thing it has taught us is to question whether the model being used to collate information is the right one, in the right context, for its data to be trusted.

Person wearing a face mask on their phone

Richard J. Self, Senior Lecturer in Governance of Advanced and Emerging Technologies at the University of Derby, and MSc Mobile App Development student Jack Hider examine the technical challenges faced by those developing apps to help control the spread of COVID-19.

An abstract image of hexagons against a blue background

What has the coronavirus pandemic taught us about Big Data and analytics? Richard Self, Senior Lecturer in Governance of Advanced and Emerging Technologies at the University of Derby, discusses in his latest blog.

For almost 20 years, Big Data, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning have been promoted as the way forward. But is the bubble about to burst for these technologies? According to Richard Self, Senior Lecturer in Analytics and Governance at the University of Derby, the answer is 'probably yes'.