Staff Directory - Dr Sarah Parsons | Harper Adams University

Staff Directory

Dr Sarah Parsons BSc (Hons), PGCE, PhD, FHEA, FIMA

Senior Lecturer, Mathematics Support Tutor and Course Tutor for the Extended Foundation Degree Programme

Teaching Duties

Extended Foundation Degree Programme

  • E3002C17 Mathematics Applications and Statistics

Engineering Courses

  • E4008C17 Mathematical Tools and Techniques
  • E5017 Engineering Mathematics and Analytical Techniques

Masters Teaching

  • F7034 Research and Information Skills - Data analysis elements

Previous Teaching

  • E3006 Mathematics Awareness: Numeracy and Statistics module (up to 2016-17)
  • E4011 Mathematics for Engineers (up to 2016-17)
  • E4004 Applied Mechanics (up to 2016-17)
  • E4005 Mechanical Science (up to 2014-15)


Senior Tutor for the Extended Foundation Degree Programme and member of the EFDP Course Committee.

Mathematics Support

Extra optional weekly classes are provided which provide extra help and tuition for the 1st year engineering mathematics and mechanics modules, and also for second year mathematics. Extra drop in help sessions are also arranged for first year statistics support. Individual and small group support can be provided by appointment by booking on my office door sheet, which can cover engineering mathematics, mechanics and statistics.

Research Interests

Undergraduate Mathematics and Statistics Learning

PhD in Mathematics Education undertaken as a part-time research student with the Mathematics Education Centre at Loughborough University, graduated July 2014.

Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects


Professional Memberships

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)
  • Fellow of the Institute of Mathematics and Its Applications (FIMA)

Academic Department: Engineering

Tel: +44 (0)1952 815448

Fax: +44 (0)1952 814783

Office: FS13 (Second Floor) Faccenda Centre


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Other publications

  • Parsons, S.J. and Croft, A.C. (2011) Engineering students' self-confidence in mathematics mapped onto Bandura's self-efficacy Engineering Education 6 (1), pp. 52-61.
  • Parsons, S. J. (2010) Mathematics Support in a University College and Research into Students' Experiences of Learning Mathematics and Statistics. (In: Marr, C. M. and Grove, M. J. eds. Responding to the Mathematics Problem: The Implementation of Institutional Support Mechanisms. The University of St Andrews. Birmingham: Maths, Stats and OR Network. pp.59-63.)
  • Parsons S J, Croft A C, Harrison M C (2009) Does students' confidence in their ability in mathematics matter? Teaching Mathematics and its Applications 28 (53-68)
  • Parsons, S. 2008. Overview of the provision of mathematics support to students in a University College. MSOR Connections. 8 (2), p.29-35.Also available from (2008)
  • Parsons, S. 2006. Update on Harper Adams University College Aspire Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. MSOR Connections. 6 (3), p.13-15.Also available from (2006)
  • Parsons, S. 2006. The Effect of Engineering Students’ Attitudes on Learning Mathematics. Proceedings of the International Conference on Innovation, Good practice and Research in Engineering Education held at the University of Liverpool. 24-26th July 2006. Liverpool. pp. 440-444 (2006)
  • Parsons, S. 2006. Pedagogic Research into Non-specialist Learning of Mathematics and Statistics: Factors Affecting Success. In: D. Green, ed.  Proceedings of the CETL-MSOR Conference 2006 held at Loughborough University. 11-12th September 2006. Loughborough. pp 120-125.Also available from (2006)
  • Parsons, S. 2005. Success in engineering mathematics ... through mathematics support and changes to engineering mathematics modules at Harper Adams. MSOR Connections. 5 (1), p.31-34.Also available from (2005)
  • Parsons, S. 2004. Overcoming High Failure Rates in Engineering Mathematics: A Support Perspective. Proceedings of the International Conference on Innovation, Good practice and Research in Engineering Education held at the University of Wolverhampton. 7-9th June 2004. Wolverhampton: University of Wolverhampton Press.  pp.195-200. (2004)
  • Challis, N., Cox, W., Gibson, I., Golden, K., MacDougall, M., Parsons, S. and Stirling, D.  2004. Action Research into Effective Student Support in Mathematics. In: E. Price, ed. Proceedings of the Undergraduate Mathematics Teaching Conference UMTC 2004 held at the University of Birmingham. 1-3rd September 2004.  Birmingham: University of Birmingham.  pp. 59-69. (2004)
  • Parsons, S. 2003. Overcoming Poor Failure Rates in Mathematics for Engineering Students. Proceedings of Progress 3 Conference held at the University of Hull, Department of Engineering. 25-26th September 2003 (2003)
Additional Information

Other Publications and Conference Presentations

MSOR CETL Conference - September 2009- At The Open University in Milton Keynes.  Gave presentation 'A miscellany of student perspectives on learning mathematics'  Conference details available at and  See abstract p.15 of

Aspire CETL Conference - April 2008 – Harper Adams University College.
Aspire Report, Conference Presentation and poster available via links from Aspire Development Fellows web-page:
Aspire Report:
Aspire Presentation:
Aspire Poster:


CETL-MSOR Conference 2007, University of Birmingham 10-11th Sep 2007
Presentation: not available on-line. 
Paper sent to MSOR Connections, HEA subject centre newsletter. 


Addressing the Quantitative Skills Gap Conference, St Andrew’s, June 2007
Paper produced May 2008.  Published 2010.


DDIG Conference 2007 Pathways to Progress at Loughborough, March 2007
Presentation title: Dyslexic and Dyscalculic Students learning Maths
Session Details available from
Presentation available from


11th May 2006 – Presentation at Research Students Presentation Meeting, Mathematics Education Centre, Loughborough University.


Mathtutor Transferability Project 2005-6 participant
Harper Adams Case Study, in Meeting Mathtutor Booklet
Parsons, S. 2006. Harper Adams Case Study In: Mathtutor, 2006. Meeting Mathtutor, pp. 29-31.


HELM Conference - September 2005 - Loughborough University
Presentation ‘Self-Confidence in Mathematics’ available from:
Poster also produced


Dyscalculia and Dyslexia Interest Group Conference 2005, 13th April 2005, Loughborough University. Characteristics of Dyslexic and Dyscalculic Students.
Presentation available from


UMTC Birmingham University - September 2004 – Paper published by working Group, and presentation
Workshop and Conference Report by Liz Price, Available at:
Parsons, S.  2004. Presentation: Mathematics Support for Engineering Students. In: E. Price, ed. Proceedings of the Undergraduate Mathematics Teaching Conference UMTC 2004 held at the University of Birmingham. 1-3rd September 2004.  Birmingham: University of Birmingham.  pp. 47-52.


Joint author of Case Study Re. Chris Swift – April 2004 – for Engineering HEA Subject Centre
Swift,C., Wakeham, G. and Parsons, S. 2004.The experience of a wheelchair user Agricultural Engineering student at Harper Adams University College
Case Study available at:


Dyslexia and Dyscalculia Interest Group (DDIG) Workshop - University of Leicester March 2004 – University of Leicester, 'Engineering Mathematics and the Dyslexic Student'.  Presentation available at:
Notes available at:


LTSN Engineering and Progress FDTL3 Project Workshop 17th December 2003, London, 'Improving Retention through Mathematics Support' Presentation available at



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