Emma Pittard

Emma Pittard, Teaching Fellow (Physics and Mathematics)
Email: e.c.a.pittard@leeds.ac.uk 

Emma Pittard

Area of Expertise 

Physics education 

My role

I have been teaching Physics for 25 years across all age ranges and abilities. I aim to give SFY students a solid grounding in Physics, to enable them to progress onto Physical Sciences and Engineering degree courses with confidence. 

I graduated from The University of Sheffield with a BSc (hons) degree in Physics, where I also received the Winnifred Moulds award in my First year and the Clarke Prize for Experimental Physics in my final year. I moved to the University of Birmingham to complete a PhD in Nuclear Structure where I used laser spectroscopy to investigate the size and shape of atomic nuclei, with experiments carried out in Birmingham and at the University of Jyväskylä in Finland. After gaining my PhD I worked as a Research Associate in Birmingham before moving to the Medical Physics group at University of Leeds as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow to work on photodynamic therapy.  

It was while in the Medical Physics group that I realised my true passion lay in teaching. I left research in 2001 and gained qualified teacher status while working as a Teacher of Science at a comprehensive school in east Leeds. I worked there for over 5 years before moving back to the University of Leeds as a Teaching Fellow in the School of Physics and Astronomy, in a role supporting first year undergraduates with both Physics and Mathematics. During this time I was also a personal tutor and laboratory demonstrator, and I taught the level 1 discovery module ‘The Origin and Nature of the Universe’.  

In 2012 I moved to the Lifelong Learning Centre to design and teach the Physics and Mathematics modules for the Earth and Environment Foundation Year when this was first implemented, and to facilitate the transition of the Interdisciplinary Foundation Years to the Lifelong Learning Centre. In 2015 I was nominated for a University Partnership award: The Mentor and Personal Tutor Award.  


I am an active member of the Physics Education Research Group based in the School of Physics and Astronomy and a member of the Institute of Physics.

Research interests

My current interests lie around students transitioning from further education to higher education, and imposter syndrome among students transitioning from foundation years.