Deirdre McKenna


I joined the University of Leeds in June 2020 as a Lecturer in EAP and currently have the following roles:

  • In-sessional for MA Film Studies, leading the Academic Literacies programme
  • Module Leader for Academic English for Postdraduate Studies (AEPS) Level 2 (pre-master’s pre-sessional programme)
  • RefugEAP programme leader (in partnership with the University of Leicester, I helped to set up and run an online pre-university course for refugee-background students)

I previously worked as a Teaching Fellow in ELT at the University of Sussex, Brighton (2016-2020) where my responsibilities included convening the Pre-Sessional, the PGT Business Communication Skills module, and the FY Academic Skills module for Psychology students. I have also held EAP posts at the Arts University Bournemouth (2015-2016), and the University of Nottingham Ningbo, China (2013-2015), specialising in ESAP for Architecture and Design. Prior to my work in EAP, I taught Business English in Germany for 2 years and GE in South Korea for 5 years. 

My research interests include: the role of trauma-informed pedagogy in EAP; working effectively with refugee-background students, challenging barriers to accessing education and resources; the cross-over in skills development and language needs for students using English as an additional language vs students using English as an L1; the impact of curriculum and materials development in supporting tutors new to EAP; communities of practice in the EAP teaching sphere. 

<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>


  • PG Cert in HE & HEA Fellowship
  • MA in Applied Linguistics & TESOL
  • Licentiate Diploma in TESOL
  • BSc Psychology

Professional memberships


Student education

The RefugEAP Programme

Research groups and institutes

  • Language Centre