Dr Anne Devlin

Deputy Dean Education (Quality, Learning & Teaching)

Faculty:Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine and Social Care

Department:School of Nursing and Midwifery

Location: Peterborough (Guild House)

Areas of Expertise: Education and teaching

Anne is an experienced education manager with expertise in vocational education and pedagogical innovation, particularly work-based learning and curriculum development.



As a nurse, midwife and health visitor with a 22-year career in higher education, Anne has progressed from being a committed practitioner to becoming a student-centred Deputy Dean. Providing excellent professional education has formed the central tenet of her educational ethos as a clinician and educator, and she is committed to preparing students for the complex, multi-linear roles and life goals to which they aspire.

Anne retains her clinical interest in community public health and wellbeing and, after entering education in 1990, has held various roles including course leaderships in health visiting, practice teaching and pre-registration nursing. Her management portfolios have involved quality assurance linked with enhancing the student experience, and she remains passionate about engaging students and the wider community with inclusive higher education.

Anne has engaged extensively with a range of national and international external networks contributing to policy development, most recently as part of the Health Education England/Department of Health team publishing national standards for practice teaching, and as a lead for embedding NHS values in health programmes.

Research interests

Anne’s research interests centre on the development professional knowledge and the role of education in contributing to an excellent professional workforce. Specifically this includes:

  • the development and evaluation of work-based learning within professional education and curricula, including the socio-cultural influences of health and social care workplaces on learning
  • communities of practice and their role in fostering practical knowledge and expertise within the health and social care workforce
  • the development of innovative pedagogy particularly related to assessment, practice teaching and practice learning
  • generating compassionate cultures in professional practice reflecting ethical and values-driven agendas.

Anne has experience of using a range of qualitative methodologies including phenomenology, case study, ethnography and constructionist approaches and is very interested in developing methods that empower research participants, such as the use of journals, audio journals and narratives.

Areas of research supervision

Anne supervises PhD and Professional Doctorate students and is interested in meeting potential students hoping to develop work in the fields described above. She's currently supervising the following doctoral projects:

  • Compassion in pre-registration education: the development of an effective learning tool
  • Exploring the impact of classroom-based training on a participant’s clinical practice
  • The impact of digital technology on the dialogue supporting assessment of competency in pre-registration nursing?


  • The philosophy of knowledge development
  • Qualitative research methodologies and data analysis
  • The theory and practice of higher and practice education
  • Curriculum development


  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Cambridge; thesis title Nurses Constructions of Learning in Work: Exploring the process and potential of work-based learning within an NHS Community of Practice
  • MEd via Research. Distinction, University of Cambridge
  • BA (Hons) Nursing with Education First Class, University of Portsmouth
  • Registered Health Visitor, Nottingham
  • Registered Midwife, South Lincolnshire School of Midwifery
  • Registered Nurse, South Glamorgan School of Nursing

Memberships, editorial boards

  • Skill for Health/Health Education England Higher Apprenticeships in Nursing National Steering Committee
  • Health Education England/Department of Health National Working Group re National Standards for Practice Teaching
  • UK Council of Deans
  • Universities Association for Lifelong Learning
  • Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain
  • United Kingdom Standing Conference for Health Visiting Education, 1998-ongoing, Elected Officer (Hon Treasurer), 2000-2005
  • Member of the Royal College of Nursing
  • Executive Chief and Directors of Nursing Committee East of England
  • HEI Appointed Governor South Essex Partnership NHS Trust representing ARU and University of Essex
  • Reviewer for the Journal of Practice Education

Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange

  • Lead coordinator of NHS-funded project to expand placement capacity in Essex and Cambridgeshire, January-July 2014: £60.000
  • Lead coordinator of East of England NHS-funded implementation of NHS Constitutional Values in commissioned health courses, 2013/14: £100.000
  • Negotiated Cambridgeshire and Essex Workforce projects to evaluate alternative approaches to mentoring in nursing practice and review the impact of CPD on clinical practice, 2013-14: £60.000
  • Member of the development group and the bid team in the joint University of Cambridge/ARU Health Innovation and Education Cluster and subsequently remained part of the steering executive responsible for allocating and evaluating education innovations until January 2013: £200.000
  • Team member for HEA-funded project evaluating models of student retention, 2008/09: £70.000

Selected recent publications

Devlin, A. Adams, K. Hall, L. and Watt, P., 2014. Educating Practice Teachers for their new roles. Ensuring high quality practice learning. HEE/DoH

Devlin, A. and Mitcheson, J., 2013. An Evaluation of Three Models of Practice Teaching in Health Visiting in NHS-East of England. Journal of Health Visiting, 1(10).

Devlin, A. and Mitcheson, J., 2013. An Evaluation of Three Models of Practice Teaching in Health Visiting in NHS-East of England: Evaluation commissioned by NHS-East of England. Submitted to the Department of Health, March 2013.

Recent presentations and conferences

Invited speaker at United Kingdom Standing Conference (UKSC) for Public Health Nurse Education, National Forum of School Health Educators and Association of Occupational Health Nurse Educators. ‘Attributes of Positive Practice-based Learning’, London, 15 March 2014.

Devlin, A., Galloway, F., Groeber, S. and Waller, V., 2014. Values Based Recruitment-the first year. Research and Innovation in Recruitment and Retention, Herriot Watt University, Edinburgh, 13 February 2014.

Devlin, A. and Mitcheson J., 2013. Meeting the Challenge of the Health Visiting Implementation Plan. Unite/CPHVA Annual Professional Conference, York, 22-23 October 2013.

Devlin. A. and McCary, J., 2009. Comparative evaluation of Personal Teacher Role in UG Student Retention. EFYE Conference, Groningen Medical Academy, Netherlands.