31 May 2019

Mark Emms recognised for outstanding practice in learning and teaching

Sheffield School of Architecture University Teacher, Mark Emms, has been selected for the Social Sciences Outstanding Practice in Learning and Teaching Award 2019. Mark has been teaching in the school since 2008, initially in Year 3, and more recently in MArch, where he leads a design studio.

Presentation to council at Chatterley Colliery

Since 2016, Mark’s MArch studio has focussed on Stoke-on-Trent, exploring the regeneration of former industrial communities. Through a research-led process, students are encouraged to critically explore cultural and material heritage, considering how the fabric of place provides continuity whilst responding to increasingly rapid societal change.


Mark invests a huge amount of enthusiasm and energy in identifying and cultivating these opportunities, fully appreciating the value that they will have in the students’ educational and professional development.

Dan Jary

Head of Learning and Teaching


Student projects have responded to contemporary issues whilst recognising the significance of the past, engaging strongly with the existing urban fabric of the city, and drawing upon the Potteries’ distinctive sense of place. Collaboration has formed a key aspect of the studio’s work, engaging with local people to consider topical issues within the city of Stoke-on-Trent.

The students in Mark’s studio have consistently produced work of an exceptionally high standard, achieving recognition in both regional and national awards.

Head of Learning and Teaching, Dan Jary, said: “Mark’s innovative teaching approach has enabled students to engage with key stakeholder groups as part of their design process, and they have organised and curated public exhibitions of their work in Stoke-on-Trent.

"The opportunity to engage with policymakers and community groups creates an inspirational learning environment. Being able to present their ideas and design proposals to the public at the end of the project is incredibly rewarding and empowering for the students., allowing them to understand the positive impact their creativity can have on people. Mark invests a huge amount of enthusiasm and energy in identifying and cultivating these opportunities, fully appreciating the value that they will have in the students’ educational and professional development.”

Mark will be presented with the award at the University’s TESS Awards Event on Wednesday 3rd July.

The Faculty of Social Sciences aims to identify outstanding practice in learning and teaching and celebrate Faculty staff members’ achievements in this area. The Scheme rewards those who are inspirational or who demonstrate an exceptional contribution in the area of learning and teaching.