Hello and welcome to the web pages of the Office of the Vice-President for Teaching and Learning.  This website is designed to provide a broad overview of this Office.  More detailed information is contained in the various links provided throughout this site.  If, however, you don't find the information that you are looking for here, please let us know.  Thoughtful feedback is always welcome, so please feel free to contact us.


Our vision is of a community of scholars which includes all our staff and all our students, a university where effective and imaginative teaching and learning approaches including innovative and creative curricula design, are fostered and supported, where teaching and learning enjoy parity of esteem with research, where a student-centred approach to research-led teaching is rooted in the culture, and where students and teachers enjoy their teaching and learning experiences.


We will continue to develop an effective and research-informed array of teaching strategies and build capacity of teachers to adapt to the needs of students, including the encouragement of transferable skills to support the academic and personal development of our students. High quality research enhanced teaching and learning is at the core of our mission.We will support innovative and inclusive teaching and learning activities and strengthen the fundamental linkages between research, teaching and learning. We will maximise opportunities for all students’ intellectual and creative development so that our graduates are effective life-long learners and inquirers. We will provide access to the best learning facilities, both campus-based and online, where students and academics will work as communities of scholars. There will be opportunities for all students to engage in scholarly activity from their first year of undergraduate studies and enjoy the highest quality learning experience

We will continue to establish significant links with first and second level education and further education providers. Reflecting national educational strategic priorities, we will continue to widen educational participation to include all sections of the community, through collaborative partnerships with educational providers, community groups and other relevant stakeholders in the region.  We will develop pathways of progression to the university from UCC’s Centre for Adult and Continuing Education (CACE) and other educational providers and in this regard, demonstrate recognition of prior learning.  We are committed to the best utilisation of learning technologies in support of flexible learning that will provide inclusive access opportunities for the lifelong learner.

We will encourage, recognise and reward good practice in teaching and learning, and the role of assessment in learning. We will endeavour to attract the finest staff and students and provide high quality graduates who are ready to take their place in the workforce and the world.

What we do:

We offer professional development programmes like the Certificate, Diploma and Masters in teaching and learning in higher education, regular seminar programmes, training for postgraduate tutors, as well as general advice and support.  More details can be viewed by clicking here.

Who we are:

In June 2014, Professor John O'Halloran was appointed Vice-President for Teaching & Learning. He took over from Dr. Bettie Higgs who was Interim Vice-President for Teaching & Learning since May 2013.

Dr Bettie Higgs and Dr Marian McCarthy run Ionad Bairre, UCC's Teaching and Learning Centre, on a day-to-day basis. Patrick Kiely, the Online Learning Development and Delivery Coordinator, works closely with the Office of the Vice-President for Teaching and Learning and Ionad Bairre to support online education in UCC. There are a number of UCC staff members who very generously give of their time to help run the various staff development courses and we're exteremely appreciative of their efforts.  

Prof John O'Halloran is the Vice-President for Teaching & Learning at UCC.

A graduate of UCC and a specialist in ornithology, John was Head of School of Biological, Earth & Environmental Sciences (BEES) at UCC before being appointed as Vice-President in June 2014. John's teaching and research profile can be read here, http://publish.ucc.ie/researchprofiles/D026/johalloran

Qualifications and awards

D.Sc. 2009            National University of Ireland
Ph.D. 1987            National University of Ireland, CorkBSc.
1st Class 1984      National University of Ireland, Cork

Current Professional Appointments 

Head of School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences
May 2010- April 2013

Vice Head of College of Science, Engineering and Food Science,
September 2006-August 2010

The Vice-President for Teaching and Learning currently has responsibility for the following offices:

  • Ionad Bairre, UCC's Teaching and Learning Centre.
  • NAIRTL, National Academy for the Integration of Teaching and Learning, a HEA-funded collaborative project between UCC (lead partner), CIT, NUIG, TCD and WIT. 
  • ACE, UCC's Centre for Adult and Continuing Education. 

The Vice-President for Teaching & Learning also is an ex-officio member of many committees throughout the University, including Academic Council; the Staff Development and Enhancement Committee and the Student Experience Committee.  Bettie is also one of the IUA nominees to the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching & Learning (http://teachingandlearning.ie/ )

Vice-President for Teaching & Learning:

  • Prof John O'Halloran was appointed Vice-President for Teaching & Learning in June 2014. Prior to this, John was Head of the School of BEES
  • Dr Bettie Higgs was appointed Interim Vice-President for Teaching & Learning in May 2013. Bettie can be contacted on b.higgs@ucc.ie or +353 (0)21 490 3609
  • Grace Neville, Emeritus Professor, former Vice-President for Teaching and Learning, retired in 2012, but can be contacted at g.neville@ucc.ie or gneville@french.ucc.ie 


  • The Office of the Vice-President for Teaching and Learning is located next to the President's Office on the ground floor of the East Wing, Main Quadrangle (map of main campus).

Opening times:   

  • Monday - Friday, 9.00am - 5pm; closed for lunch daily between 1pm - 2pm.

Admin contact:


Don't forget to also check out the website of CIRTL, UCC's Teaching and Learning Centre, located in the West Lodge near Gaol's Cross on the main campus, where further information on teaching and learning can be located. The secretary/programme administrator at Ionad Bairre is Ms Mary Clohessy who works Monday - Friday, 9am-1pm.  Mary Clohessy's contact details are m.clohessy@ucc.ie or telephone 021 4902919.

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