Staff profile

Trevor Cotterill

Programme Leader for Special Educational Needs and Disability BA (Hons) and FdA

Trevor Cotterill


Education Studies and SEND


College of Arts, Humanities and Education


Institute of Education

Research centre

Centre for Educational Research and Innovation


Kedleston Road, Derby Campus



I am Programme Leader for Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND), both for BA (Hons) and Foundation. I teach on our SEND, Education Studies and Further Education Collaborations programmes. My research interests include autism, the role of neurobiology and cognition in relation to it, and ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).


Teaching responsibilities

I am a Senior Lecturer in Education Studies and SEND, a Lecturer in Further Education Collaborations and Stage 3 Progression Leader for BA (Hons) Education Studies.

I am a Module Leader and lecture on a range of modules within SEND, these include:

I also lead on the PGCE (Post 14) Teaching Learners with Disabilities pathway.

Professional interests

I have over 40 years experience within the field of education. I have taught in secondary schools as well as in Further and Higher Education. My career started in a number of secondary schools becoming an Assistant Head of  Science. After a number of years I taught in two colleges of FE, lecturing in Psychology and SEND.

On becoming a Programme Leader for SEND, I became interested in the aetiology of learning difficulties, in other words what causes or leads to them, especially issues surrounding additional conditions (co-morbidity) in relation to autism. I also worked with a number of local education authorities (LEAs) and Special Schools, with a focus on the professional development of their staff.

My next move was as a Lecturer and Manager of Initial Teacher Education (ITE) on Certificate of Education, PGCE and SEND courses. I have worked with a number of external agencies to develop their staff, including the Probation Service, private training providers, the NHS, the Prison Service and two Police Authorities.

Here at the University of Derby I lecture on a range of programmes which enable me to utilise my previous experience alongside research into SEND. I have written Foundation Degrees and Advanced Diplomas in SEND, along with a BA (Hons) SEND and continuing professional development modules.

I have spoken about autism at national and international conferences and worked with international students in the Netherlands.

Research interests

Membership of professional bodies


Recent conferences

Experience in industry

I have 40 years of teaching experience in secondary schools, further education and higher education. External Examiner and External Verifier for Autism, Psychology, Sociology.

International experience

I have worked with ITE students at Han University and Saxion University, Holland

Recent publications