Professor Neil Morris

Professor Neil Morris


Neil Morris is Chair of Educational Technology, Innovation and Change in the School of Education and the Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Digital Transformation at the University of Leeds.  He is a National Teaching Fellow, and has won a number of national awards for teaching excellence. Neil has a research background in neuroscience and has active research in educational technology, online learning and blended learning. He has published widely on the impact of blended learning, online learning and mobile technologies on student learning and engagement and he is the co-author of Study Skills Connected, a successful textbook on using technology effectively to enhance learning (Palgrave MacMillan), and Studying a MOOC: a guide (Palgrave MacMillan). Neil is co-lead educator on the FutureLearn online courses Blended Learning Essentials with Prof. Diana Laurillard, a project funded by the Ufi Charitable Trust.

Neil has strategic responsibility for the Digital Education Service, which is responsible for delivering online courses on the FutureLearn, Coursera and VLE platforms. Neil has authored a number of strategies and policies for the University, including the Digital Strategy for Taught Student Education, the Blended Learning Strategy, learning analytics strategy, the MOOC vision, the Audio Video Recording policy and strategy and the Open Educational Resources policy. Neil has led a number of strategic technology projects at Leeds, including Online Distance Learning, Digital Learning, collaborative lecture theatres, MOOCs for FutureLearnlecture capture, Open Educational Resources, Virtual Learning Environment and student response handsets. Neil has given many keynote talks at UK and international events, and is a regular speaker at conferences.

Neil is the Director of the University of Leeds Centre for Research in Digital Education.

External roles

  • Member, ESRC Peer Review College
  • JISC, Senior TEL Group, Horizon Group
  • HE Edtech Advisory Board
  • Member, DCMS Digital Skills and Inclusion Research Working Group


  • Digital Learning Team – PQ award for Innovation 2016 (ICAEW / Leeds MOOC)
  • Digital Learning Team - ALT Learning Technology Team of the Year award 2015
  • Digital Learning Team – 2014 International MEDEA awards (Highly Commended)
  • Innovation Partnership Award, Leeds University Union (2013)
  • National Teaching Fellowship, Higher Education Academy (2012)
  • Society of Biology HE Teacher of the Year Award (2012)
  • Student Choice Award for most innovative teacher by Leeds University Union (2011)
  • Runner-Up in the ALT Learning Technologist of the year Award (2011)
  • The Physiological Society Otto Hutter Teaching Awardin (2010).

Affiliated Research Centres

Centre for Research in Digital Education


  • Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Digital Transformation
  • Director, Centre for Research in Digital Education

Research interests

Neil's research investigates the use of technology to enhance learning for HE students, with particular interests in MOOCs, learner analytics, technology adoption and mobile devices. Neil was the Principal Investigator on a recent ESRC grant exploring the impact of digital technology on the unbundling of higher education, a collaborative project with Prof Laura Czerniewicz at University of Cape Town in South Africa (see project website). Neil has recently completed a research project funded by the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education with Professor Linda Evans, and also has on-going funding from the Ufi Charitable Trust for the Blended Learning Essentials online courses, with Prof Diana Laurillard.

Neil has previously conducted studies on tablet computers, eBooks, the integration of video lectures, podcasts and mobile technology into the HE curriculum (View YouTube clip).  Neil was the founding group leader for the Bioscience Education Research Group between 2010-2013. Neil has received grant funding from the Higher Education Academy Collaborative Teaching Development Grant Scheme for a research project on eBooks (see blog here), and the Higher Education Academy's Centre for Bioscience (ULBERG), the Higher Education Academy / JISC OER phase 3 scheme (embedding Open Educational Resources institutionally; final report here). Neil also led a student project to produce podcasts of research seminars for use in student education (PRELO).

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD
  • BSc (Hons)

Professional memberships

  • Advance HE

Student education

I teach on the Masters in Digital Education (Distance Learning) in the School of Education.

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for Digital Learning
<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>The school welcomes enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>