National Teaching Fellow 2015
Institution at the time of award: University of Sheffield
Professor Claire McGourlay displays an active interest in the development of approaches to teaching that influence, motivate and inspire students to learn. She works in a number of mediums to motivate and inspire her students and is more than an academic who nurtures a passionate interest in the law – she is a dedicated teacher, enthusiastic and positive.
Claire’s interest in teaching is demonstrably clear to anyone who meets her; and it is this interest and passion that are paramount to her students’ success and achievements. She was the first person in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Sheffield to be promoted to Professor of Legal Education and in 2013 she was shortlisted for the Oxford University Law Teacher of the Year Award. Claire moved to The University of Manchester in 2017.
As well as the traditional lecture and seminar formats Claire frequently champions distinct and diverse teaching styles and methods to ensure everyone is supported and given the opportunity to excel. She was instrumental when at Sheffield in introducing video activities to enable students to engage in practical tasks to enhance their understanding.
Claire also champions experiential learning and was convenor for, FreeLaw (Clinical Legal Education) and Miscarriages of justice and their consequences, Claire has promoted the use of e-portfolios and peer review to allow students to catalogue their work and learn useful practical skills. She was responsible for the establishment and growth of FreeLaw and The Miscarriages of Justice Review Centre at Sheffield. At Manchester she is the Director of Learning and Teaching and is also leading the expansion of pro bono work at the School.
At Sheffield she was nominated for the Student Union Academic Award for Personal Tutor of the Year in 2010, Employability in 2011, Teaching Excellence in 2013, Teaching excellence in 2014 and 2017 and Best Personal Tutor in 2017. She was awarded the Edward Bramley Law Society Award for Outstanding Staff Contribution in 2013 and won the University Employability Award in 2014. Claire was also awarded a Principal fellowship of the HEA in 2016.
Professor of Legal Education
The University of Manchester