IOD Director of the Year Awards

A celebration of leadership talent, success and achievement

Sir Timothy O'Shea profile



Emeritus Professor of Digital Education
University of Edinburgh

Tim O'Shea was trained in mathematics, experimental psychology and machine learning. He has always been concerned with the use of new technology to enhance the learner experience and to improve access to education.

For the first 25 years of his career he both taught and carried out research at various locations including the Open University and the universities of Texas and Edinburgh. He published 10 books, 23 TV programmes and more than 100 articles.  For the next 20 years he was a university leader with 5 years at Birkbeck, University of London and 15 years back at Edinburgh.

He has now returned to research focusing on Massive Open Online Courses. He is Chair of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society which oversees the largest arts festival in the World. He was knighted in 2008.


The Centre for Research in Digital Education is based in the Moray House School of Education at the University of Edinburgh, and conducts research, knowledge exchange and consultancy in key areas including digital education pedagogy and policy, open education, children and technology, learning analytics and museum learning.