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Department of Management

Dr Shirley Atkinson

Dr Shirley Atkinson

Senior Lecturer in Business Analytics, Director of Education (Operations and Analytics), Faculty Director of Data Science and AI Education (ESE)


 Building:One CSAM office, 2nd floor, Buildi


Building:One,  University of Exeter, Rennes Drive,  Exeter,  EX4 4ST, UK


Dr Shirley Atkinson holds two roles, one is the Faculty Director of Data Science and AI Education, the other is the Director of Education for the Operations and Analytics (O&A) team in the University of Exeter Business School.  She delivers on two modules with the theme of python coding and database development.  Her focus is on supporting colleagues in the team in developing excellent teaching in analytics and coding both within the O&A department and across the faculty.  

Prior to joining the University of Exeter Business School, Shirley Atkinson lectured for approximately 15 years at the University of Plymouth.  Before entering academia Shirley worked as a database and software developer from 1992 through to starting her teaching as a post-doc in 2005.  Shirley has been teaching databases and coding since 2005 and delivers content using Microsoft SQL Server, Docker, C#, JavaScript and other coding languages.  She has led modules on API database development, web development and project management

Dr Shirley Atkinson held the role of Associate Head of Computing at the University of Plymouth for 4 years, leading a small team to improve student satisfaction scores and a complete revamp of the computing curriculum leading to successful BCS Accreditation.

Shirley is a Senior Fellow of the HEA and has led the Computing At School (CAS) South West Regional centre along with the Regional Delivery Partner for the National Computing Centre for Education (NCCE)

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Research interests

  • Pedagogy for programming
  • Supporting CAS Master Teachers in the community
  • Early years role models in educating for safe behaviours online
  • Involved in e-safety for young people with a special focus on peer education.
  • Protecting individuals online
  • Privacy within all forms of internet mediated communications
  • Impact of technology on Domestic Abuse Survivors and Teenagers
  • Involved in introducing girls to computing and debunking some of the stereotypes surrounding the IT industry 

Research projects

Currently supervising 1 PhD student looking at Smarthome, wearables and gender violence.

GW4+ DTP Summer Undergraduate Research Experience Placement - Smart Watch Analytics

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Journal articles

Vranopoulos G, Clarke N, Atkinson S (2022). Addressing big data variety using an automated approach for data characterization. JOURNAL OF BIG DATA, 9(1).  Author URL.
George M, Fischer-Hellmann K-P, Knahl M, Bleimann U, Atkinson S (2012). Traceability in Model-Based Testing. Future Internet, 4(4), 1026-1036.

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External Engagement and Impact

Awards and Honours

  •   Senior Fellow Higher Education Academy

External positions

  •  Regional Coordinator CAS South West Regional Centre (2013-2017) 
  •  Regional Delivery Partner NCCE (2017-2018)
  •  CS Steering Group Exeter Mathematics School

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Throughout her teaching career Shirley has been nominated for a number of Student Staff awards – the Inspirational Teacher, a Big Thank You award and Best Programme Manager.   In recent years she has been first choice supervisor for a number of final year project students. 

Shirley prides herself in delivering good quality content, understandable, but stretching. 

Shirley has previously led the development of the Computing curriculum at the University of Plymouth along with guiding and mentoring staff to deliver excellent teaching to the students.

Since 2013 Shirley has been involved with delivering subject specific skills for Computing teachers based in primary and secondary schools via the Computing At School (CAS) organisation. 



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