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Prof Ray Land

Emeritus Professor

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Emeritus Professor in the School of Education  


Ray Land is Professor of Higher Education at Durham University and Director of Durham’s Centre for Academic Practice. He previously held similar positions at the Universities of Strathclyde, Coventry and Edinburgh. He has been a higher education consultant for the OECD and the European Commission and has recently been involved in two European Commission higher education projects in Europe and Latin America. He has published widely in the field of educational research, including works on academic development, learning technology and quality enhancement. He is best known for his theory (with Jan Meyer) of Threshold Concepts and Troublesome Knowledge. His latest book (with George Gordon) is Enhancing Quality in Higher Education: International Perspectives (Routledge 2013). He has given presentations on his research in over forty countries across six continents.

'Completed Supervisions since (2008)'

Threshold concepts in research andevidence-based practice: Investigatingtroublesome learning for undergraduate nursing students.#

Civilian to Officer: Threshold Concepts in Military Officers’ Education.

“More than just a Teaching Fellow”: The impact of REF and implications of TEF on Life Science Teaching-Focused Academics in UK HEIs.

The Threshold Concept

Research Projects

  • Development of professional skills via participative EVALuation and SIMulation using Web tools
  • iBAR

Awarded Grants

  • 2012: DCI-ALA/2011/10 'DevalSlimWeb-Desarrollo de competenclas professionales a traves de la evolucion participative y la simulacion utilizando herramientas web(£51755.08 from Universidad de Cadiz)
  • 2012: IBAR - Identifying barriers in promoting the European Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance at Institutional level and making recommendations as to how these might be addressed(£97416.18 from European Commission)


Chapter in book

Conference Paper

Edited book

Journal Article


  • Land, R. (2014), Liminality Close-Up. Keynote Speaker Pre-Conference Think Piece for the conference, HECU7, Higher Education Close Up: Research Making a Difference. Lancaster: Lancaster University, UK.


  • Land, R. & Gordon, G. (2015). Teaching excellence initiatives: modalities and operational factors. York: Higher Education Academy.
  • Kohoutek,J., Land, R. & Owen, C. (2014). Identifying barriers in promoting the European Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance at institutional level (IBAR): Final Synthesis Report. Brussels: European Commission Lifelong Learning Programme.