Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Education and Student Experience


Professor Sarah O'Hara


Professor Sarah O’Hara is the Pro Vice Chancellor for Education and Student Experience as well as a Professor of Geography.  She is responsible for the delivery for one of the core strategies of the University of Nottingham Strategy2020 which places students at the heart of the University, and focuses on the personalisation of students’ learning experiences  and to ensure that they are active partners in their own education. Sarah is a member of the University Executive Board.

Prior to taking up her role as Pro Vice Chancellor in 2011 she was an associate Dean of the University of Nottingham Graduate School and Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences. As Pro Vice Chancellor Sarah has held a number of portfolios including Human Resources, Access and Community and Academic Planning.


Sarah holds a BSc (Hons) in Geology and Physical Geography from the University of Liverpool, a MSc in Geomorphology from the University of Alberta, Canada and a D.Phil from the University of Oxford.  After 7 years as lecturer at the University of Sheffield, Sarah joined Nottingham in January 1998. 

Over her career Sarah   has acted as an advisor to the UNDP, SDC, FCO as well as the UK and EU government on a number of water related projects and environmental issues.  

She currently sits on the British Geological Society (BGS) independent Advisory Committee; is an advisor to the Shale Gas Task Force and a panel member of the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC) – Celebrating Impact Prize competition. 

Teaching and Research Summary

Sarah has taught on a large number of modules ranging from Environmental Issues in the Former Soviet Union to Managing Dryland Environments. But, since taking up her role as Pro Vice Chancellor has focused on PhD and undergraduate project supervision. More recently, however, she has been developing on-line teaching materials and in February 2015, she  delivered a Massive, Open, Online Course (known as a MOOC via FutureLearn) on ‘Shale Gas and Fracking: the Politics and Science’ to over 9000 students.

Sarah has an extensive publication record based on over two decades of research in Central Asia, North and Central America and the Middle East. Her current research focuses on resource management and conflict as well as the geopolitics of oil and gas developments.

9 - S OHara Photo 2015 




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