Catherine O'Connor

Catherine O'Connor


Accepting PhD Students

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Personal profile


Catherine is Professor for Higher Education, Learning and Teaching at Leeds Trinity, Institutional Lead for Learning, Teaching & Employability and Head of the School of Communication, Business and Law. 


She is a member of the University's Leadership Team, Chair of Leeds Trinity's Learning and Teaching Committee, its Employability Group and and its Work-Based Learning Approval Panel.


Her research interests are around higher education pedagogy, graduate employability and skills gaps. She has utilised her background in journalism to co-supervise two PhD projects looking at the impact of digital and social media on the regional news industry and is currently co-supervising a further two projects looking at journalism training and the impact of work-integrated learning.


Prior to joining Leeds Trinity in 2007, Catherine spent 15 years working in the regional news media. She began her journalism career as a trainee reporter for the Halifax Courier and worked on the newsdesk there before becoming Deputy News Editor at the Yorkshire Evening Post. She then spent eight years at the Telegraph & Argus, Bradford, where she was Deputy Editor.


She initially joined Leeds Trinity as a Senior Lecturer in Journalism and has taught practical journalism modules, media law and ethics and supervised final year Digital Media Portfolio, dissertations and Professional Learning Through Work modules.



She was appointed as Head of Journalism in 2009 and later became Head of Journalism, Media and Business before being appointed as founding Head of the School of Arts and Communication in June 2015. This transitioned to be the School of Communication, Business and Law in 2019.

Catherine has been an Examiner and Moderator for National Council for the Training of Journalists, an external examiner and a media commentator for local and national radio. She is a member of the MillionPlus Learning and Teaching Network and Leeds Digital Forum Steering Group.


Research interests

Higher Education pedagogy, graduate employability, skills gaps.

Co-supervisor for four PhD projects, two looking at the impact of digital and soical media on working practices and outputs in the regional news industry; one looking at journalism training and one looking at work-integrated learning.

Teaching and Administration

Teaching experience

Contributor to Leeds Trinity's Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education.

Practical journalism, media law and ethics, supervisor for dissertations and final year projects in Digital Media Portolio and Professional Learning Through Work.


Current Teaching responsibilities

PhD supervisor. Contributions to Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education.


Major Administrative / Academic Roles and Responsibilities

Institutiona Lead for Learning, Teaching and Employability

Member of University Leadership Team

Academic Board member

Chair of Learning and Teaching Committee

Chair of Employability Group

Member of Student Experience and Engagement Committee

Member of Planning Committee.

Education/Academic qualification

Bachelor of Arts, History and Politics, University of Huddersfield

External positions

External Examiner, Kingston University


External Examiner, Hull College


REF 2029 UOA

  • UOA23 - Education


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