Welcome to ThomasLancaster.co.uk, the home of Dr. Thomas Lancaster.
I work across the sector in my main area of Computer Science and in my research field of interest, academic integrity and contract cheating.
My most recent senior role saw me work as Associate Dean in Recruitment at Staffordshire University. My particular responsibility is for Digital Technologies, a role which closely matches my interests for online branding, promotion and marketing, my background in Computer Science and my wider interests in emerging technologies.
In other previous roles, I’ve been employed as a Principal Lecturer at Coventry University and a Senior Lecturer a Birmingham City University, the latter being a university where I worked for over 12 years. I have held a variety of management level roles, including leading a major Computer Science programme and leading student recruitment across the Computing, Electronics and Mathematics field. I also hold various external roles, particularly as an external examiner and as a subject expert for course approval events.
One of my interests is teaching and improving the student experience. My background is technical, with plenty of programming experience, but most of my pedagogical research has been based around professional practice for Computing students, focusing particularly on research and project preparation skills, as well as helping students to obtain sandwich year placements and to become employable. I think that that’s a key part of everything we do as university lecturers, and I aim to help students to achieve the best careers available for them.
My research is varied as well, particularly in the Computing Education field. I’m best known for my research into academic integrity, plagiarism detection and contract cheating, an area in which I’ve delivered keynote presentations, research talks and staff training for institutions around the world. My PhD, obtained from London South Bank University, looked into plagiarism detection. Since then, I’ve explored the challenge of contract cheating, looking at how students can get original work produced for them which they can then hand in as if they had created this work for themselves. I’ve published widely on this topic with my colleague Robert Clarke. I’ve also published around topics including assessment, student projects and, more recently, student employability. I tend to focus my research in directions of interest to teaching practitioners and lecturers, as opposed to pure academic research, and aim to make sure that it reaches as wide a selection of people as possible.
I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and I have experience supporting them in an Academic Associate role and developing and delivering materials for staff development sessions. I work with several other organisations, including prominently as an Expert with the Council of Europe.
There’s much more information about my background and academic experience around the site and on my blog, so feel free to have a browse around and leave comments on anything that interests you.