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Dr Sebastian Shaw

Seb Shaw

Dr Sebastian Shaw (BM BS, MSc, DRCOG, MAcadMEd, FHEA)

Honorary Clinical Lecturer (Research Methods & Medical Education)
Location: 344A Watson Building, Department of Medical Education, BSMS, University of Brighton, Falmer, BN1 9PH

Area of expertise: Medical education; Qualitative research; Phenomenology; Autoethnography; Dyslexia in health education. 

Research areas: Neurodiversity (including Specific Learning Difficulties) in health education and practice; Stress / burnout / coping with medical education; The psychosocial aspects of prescribing education and practice. 

Personal website >


Seb grew up local to Brighton in the countryside of West Sussex. BSMS has been at the heart of his career since he first came to the university as a medical student. He returned to BSMS as an Honorary Research Fellow in 2017, before stepping up to the role of Honorary Clinical Lecturer in 2020. 

Seb has always been interested in teaching. He initially considered becoming a secondary school teacher before later deciding to train as a doctor instead. As a foundation doctor, he ran the BSMS “foundation teaching for finals” course at his hospital, aimed at helping final year medical students prepare for their qualifying exams. He has a Master’s degree in Medical Education, is a Member of the Academy of Medical Educators, and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. He currently splits his time between teaching/research at BSMS and part-time clinical work. 

In his free time Seb is an Army Cadet Force (ACF) officer. During his time in the ACF Seb has held a variety of roles, which have allowed him to develop his interests in both health promotion and education outside of a traditional clinical setting. These roles have included: detachment commander; company first aid training adviser; county first aid training officer; and, most recently, county medical support assistant.  


Seb is primarily a qualitative researcher, with specific interests in phenomenological and autoethnographic approaches. His main research interests focus on student/trainee support and neurodiversity. He has a special interest in the impacts of Specific Learning Difficulties on medical education and practice.  

Some of Seb’s recent and/or on-going research projects have included:

  • “Studying medicine with dyslexia: a collaborative autoethnography.”
  • “The experiences of medical students with dyslexia.”
  • “Coping with medical school.”
  • “The experiences of foundation doctors with dyspraxia.”
  • “Dyslexia within medical students: a national survey of its prevalence and supports.”
  • “The impacts of dyslexia on safe and effective prescribing: a collaborative autoethnography.”
  • “The impact of taking a gap year on medical students’ subsequent experiences at medical school.” (Principal investigator).
  • “The experiences of healthcare students with autism spectrum disorder.” (Principal investigator). 


Seb has taught on both the undergraduate programme and postgraduate courses at BSMS.  

He has taught on the following modules on the undergraduate BM BS course: 203, 303, 306. He was awarded an outstanding service award in 2017 for his contributions to multi-professional learning on module 306.

Seb now teaches exclusively in postgraduate medicine, with a focus on research methods and medical education. He also supervises students undertaking research dissertations / individual research projects in medical education. Seb’s postgraduate teaching areas have mainly focused on:

  • The philosophy of research.
  • The critical appraisal of research.
  • Interview skills in qualitative research.
  • Focus group skills in qualitative research.
  • Analysing qualitative data.
  • Ethical and governance issues in health research.
  • Obtaining informed consent in health research.
  • Dyslexia in medical education.
  • Speaking, questioning and listening in medical education.
  • The relationship and communication issues in health education and practice (including explorations with Transactional Analysis and Attribution Theory). 

Selected publications

Anderson JL, Shaw SCK. The experiences of medical students and junior doctors with dyslexia: a survey study. International Journal of Social Sciences and Educational Studies. 2020;7(1):62-71. doi: 10.23918/ijsses.v7i1p62

Shaw SCK. Hopelessness, helplessness and resilience: the importance of safeguarding our trainees’ mental wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nurse Education in Practice. 2020;44:102780. PMID: 32272394

Shaw SCK, Hennessy LR, Okorie M, Anderson JL. Safe and effective prescribing with dyslexia. BMC Medical Education. 2019;19(1):277.  PMID: 31340792 

Shaw SCK. An introduction to the role of relational ethics in qualitative healthcare education research. Nurse Education in Practice. 2019;36:157-8. PMID: 30986661 

Shaw SCK, Anderson JL. The experiences of medical students with dyslexia: an interpretive phenomenological study. Dyslexia. 2018;24(3):220-33. PMID: 29749018 

Shaw SCK. Learned helplessness in doctors with dyslexia: time for a change in discourse? Nurse Education in Practice. 2018;32:99-100. PMID: 29429848

Shaw SCK, Anderson JL. Phenomenological research in medical education: an overview of its philosophy, approaches and conduct. In SAGE Research Methods Cases. 2018 Jan 01. doi: 10.4135/9781526447319. ISBN: 9781526447319 

Walker ER, Shaw SC, Price J, Anderson JL, Reed M. Dyspraxia in clinical education: a review. The Clinical Teacher. 2018;15(2):98-103. PMID: 29159933

Shaw SCK, Malik M, Anderson JL. The exam performance of medical students with dyslexia: a review of the literature. MedEdPublish. 2017; 6(3): 2. doi: 10.15694/mep.2017.000116 

Shaw SCK, Anderson JL, Grant AJ. Studying medicine with dyslexia: a collaborative autoethnography. The Qualitative Report. 2016; 21(11): 2036-54.