Areas of Expertise
Learning & Skills Futures, Social Change & Transformation
Deirdre McClay is a lecturer in The School of Business with a background in education, law and accounting. She holds a doctorate in education (2017) and an LLB (1987) from Queen’s University Belfast and a PG Diploma in Higher Education Practice (2009) from Ulster University. She also trained with KPMG Dublin as a Chartered Accountant (1991) and completed the Irish Tax Institute professional examinations (1992) before working as a lecturer in both Queen’s University Belfast and Letterkenny I.T. In LYIT, she lectures on education, business and law programmes and has extensive experience from level 6 through to level 9 including dissertation supervision on taught and research master’s programmes. She is also the programme coordinator for the MA in Learning & Teaching which is offered to lecturers and teachers across education sectors, and she works with and has developed the LYIT Communications Learning Centre (CLC) which offers a suite of student skills development initiatives across disciplines. In her spare time she writes short stories and poems which have been published nationally and internationally.
Research, Innovation & Engagement
Deirdre McClay completed her doctorate in 2017 with a dissertation titled ‘Stories from Irish Higher Education Academic Writing Centres’. Her main research interests are in writing pedagogy in higher education and teaching and learning in higher education; these fit within the LYIT School of Business research focus area of Learning & Skills Futures and the Innovation/Change area of Social Change and Transformation. She has presented widely at national and international teaching and learning conferences and successfully applied for nationally funded seminars and a collaborative project under the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning. She was the LYIT coordinator for the ATLAS 2016 nationally funded project which explored mapping of five level 9 Teaching and Learning programmes to the ‘Professional Development Framework for All Staff Who Teach in Higher Education’. Since 2015, she has been co-director of the annual week-long Summer Writing Institute for Teachers (SWIFT) at Maynooth University along with Dr. Alison Farrell. Based on the Bay Area Writing Project at Berkeley University, SWIFT is the first programme of its kind in Ireland; it is a community of practice initiative which supports teachers at all educational levels to develop both their own and their learners’ writing skills.