Mary Claire Halvorson

Staff details

Position Director of Professional Development
Email M.C.Halvorson (
Phone +44 (0)20 7919 7211

Mary Claire Halvorson has worked in the University of London since March 1978. She has been Director of Professional Development since she joined Goldsmiths in 1991. Her duties include responsibility for academic staff development and bespoke work with academic departments.

She is the programme leader for the 60 credit M Level PG Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education and module leader for the 30 credit M level Academic Practice for PhD Students and Early Career Researchers, run in conjunction with the Graduate School. As leader for the PG Cert in the Management of Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, she wrote a chapter about accrediting prior experiential learning for the book called ‘Recognising Learning’. She was a partner in the EU project "Adding Quality to Life through Inter-Generational Learning via Universities". Recent consultancy work includes the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the Helsinki Consortium of Universities and the European Universities Continuing Education Network, and the Finnish Ministry of Education. She was the College representative on the St Gabriel's Trust from 2005-2012. From 2001- 2014, Mary Claire was on the International Editorial Board of the Journal Life Long Learning in Europe.


  • PG Certificate in Management of Learning and Teaching (FHEA accredited) Programme leader from 2016- observe teaching as part of assessment and provide tutorials, ongoing
  • Graduate School in collaboration with Teaching and Learning Innovation Centre – module leader 2017/18 for Academic Practice for PhD students and early career researchers
  • BA Education, Culture and Society, teach on the module The Curriculum: Historical and Philosophical Perspectives, in Educational Studies, ongoing
  • Institute for Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship- Guest lecture core MA module, ongoing
  • Pilot Academic Practice programme ( from 2005-06, yearly until 2016)
  • PG Diploma and MA in Management of Learning and Teaching Programme leader 2005-2016.
  • MA in Education - delivered two modules (from 1998 to 2004).
  • MA Adult Learning: Principles and Practice and Curriculum and Culture (from 1992-2004).
  • Drama - MA Theatre Administration and Cultural Policy  (from 2001- 2005).
  • Media and Communications BA – devised the Methods module.

Conference Presentations

August 2017 Speaker at E-Learning Summit Minneapolis, University of Minnesota

June 2017 Speaker at the Teaching Orwell conference run with the Orwell Society.

May 2017 EU funded University Staff Erasmus mobility - Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany

April 2016 EU funded University Staff Erasmus Teaching Polytechnic Institute of Leiria Peniche, Portugal

July 2014: Spoke at the Career Integration Conference, at the University of Minnesota, externally funded.

May 2014: Spoke at the Grundtvig Learning Partnership Conference, in Portlaoise, Ireland, externally funded.

February  2014: Grundvig funded International Network of Course Organisers in Alden Biesen, Belgium- Pilot Course, 'Supporting course providers in their care for quality'.

November 2013:  Co- host and Chair  for 'Releasing Creative Energy', a two day international forum for higher education experts to interact with policy makers to develop recommendations for the European Commission to improve lifelong learning through innovative approaches that enhance creativity.

September 2013: Krakow, Poland ‘Teachers’ and trainers’ continuing professional development and career opportunities’ EU funded Transversal Programme for Education and Vocational Training Specialists

April 2013: Participated in the EU InfoNet conference in Tallinn, Estonia as a funded delegate.

October 2012: Invited to speak at a seminar in Helsinki funded by the Finnish Lifelong Learning Foundation (Kansanvalistusseura) and attended the International Editorial Board of Lifelong Learning in Europe.

September 2012 Plenary, ‘Strategising Lifelong Learning’, at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra; Barcelona‘

June 2012: Participated at a conference funded by the Danish EU- presidency, 'Solutions by Re-thinking', at Aarhus University, Denmark.

June 2012: Delivered a guest lecture on ‘Effective learning and teaching in HE’ at Birkbeck College, London

May 2012: Delivered session, ‘Teaching Creatively in Higher Education’ at the ‘Learning by Developing - New Ways to Learn’ at Laurea University, Espoo, Finland.

October 2011: Mary Claire was invited by the University of Geneva to participate as the only UK funded representative in their 20 year anniversary events of University Lifelong Learning.

January 2009: Plenary Chair and Respondant: ‘Participation in Learning and Life History’. Helsinki, Finland for the KVS Foundation.

September 2008: Keynote speech: ‘Effective Adult Learning and Curriculum Development.’ Belgrade, Serbia. Funded by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe

Professional activities

External Examining

  • External Examiner at University of Brighton for their PG Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education 2016/17-2019/20
  • External Examiner at Newman University Birmingham for their International Programmes from 2011, ongoing.
  • External Assessor  at Birkbeck College for their Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education (PGCEHE), from 2007, ongoing
  • External Examiner at London Metropolitan University’s MA in Education, 2004-2007
  • External Examiner for the London Metropolitan University Certificate in Education for staff run at Chelsea and Kensington College, 2003-2006.
  • Twice external expert for validation panels at Croydon College for the Certificate in Education (post compulsory).

Academic qualifications

1995 Diploma in Marketing, Chartered Institute of Marketing

1994 MBA Masters Business Administration, University of Westminster

1982 Dip Lib and MA in Library and Information Science, University College London

1979 MSc Politics and Sociology, Birkbeck College London

1977 University of London Extra-Mural Diploma courses in International Law, International Economics,International Relations and International History.

1974 BEd and Secondary School Teaching Certificate State license, Carroll, Wisconsin, USA (Schiller College, London, third year abroad, 1972-73).

Grants & awards

Goldsmiths Peake Teaching Excellence Award Recipient 2008

Goldsmiths Centre for Excellence in Learning Technology Fellowship 2003-2004

Goldsmiths Centre for Excellence in Learning Technology Fellowship 2002-2003

Other relevant experience

  • HEA Subject Centre for Education  - Escalate - College representative.
  • Member of the National ECOTOC Thematic Networking Group 2  ‘Continuous training of learning professionals' since April 2008.
  • ALPINE project  leader of the Curriculum Group.
  • Grundtvig 4 programme Equipe- European Quality in Individualised Pathways in Education -full partner (2002-2005) Equipe Plus consultant 2005-2008.
  • ADD LIFE Full partner ‘Adding Quality to Life Through Inter- Generational Learning via Universities   Toolkit and CD now available in 5 EU languages.
  • Beflex project Quality in ULLL and the Bologna Process
  • Founding member of the planning group for the HEFCE-funded ‘94 Group Senior Management development programme. Facilitated and developed guidelines and action learning sets for senior university staff from the member universities for the duration of the project and developed other curriculum based work nationally for best practice in management development.
  • ALLUME EU Learning project 2009-2012.
  • Originated and convened the University of London Group on Academic Practice : a London wide network that exchanged experience on developments in pedagogy and shared best practice. Joint author with Professor Ken Gregory, Warden Goldsmiths, of an article on key academic staff development issues arising from our presentation at a national conference on Quality in Higher Education.