Marion Bowman

Marion Bowman


Marion is a member of the DenStudy team in the School of Dentistry. She provides 1:2:1 appointments and designs targeted workshops to enhance student academic performance.

Marion qualified as a Biology and Geography teacher in South Africa (where she grew up). She then taught in South African secondary schools for four years before studying for an Honours in Science Education which she was awarded with distinction. Following this, she was given a scholarship to study for a Masters in Science Education at Leeds University, UK. On her return to South Africa in 1998, she worked as a project coordinator to improve teaching, leadership and management in disadvantaged rural South African schools. When her family moved to Poland in 2001, Marion qualified as an English language teacher and taught Language for Business and General English to Polish adult learners. In Poland she also trained as an IELTS examiner and developed learning materials for Polish secondary school teachers. In 2007, her family moved to the UK, and Marion taught on the International Foundation Year programme in the Language Centre and developed online skills tutorials for the Skills Centre at the University of Leeds. Between 2009 and 2013, Marion taught on a 1:2:1 basis at the University of Bradford, developing the academic potential of a diverse group of students studying a range of subjects.

In Marion’s current role is as a Dental Education Adviser in the School of Dentistry. She works on a 1:2:1 basis with students and delivers workshops aimed at improving student attainment. She is also the School’s International Tutor and leads the International Foundation Year module: Introduction to Dentistry and Medicine DSUR0100.

Marion is also completing a part-time PhD project in dental communications in which discourse analysis is being used to explore the often difficult and sensitive conversations that dental professionals have with patients about periodontal (gum) disease.  



  • Denstudy adviser
  • International Tutor/Linked to Language Centre
  • Module Lead for Introduction to Dentistry and Medicine DSUR0100

Research interests

Marion is currently studying towards a PhD in Dental Communications focusing on the conversations dental professionals have with patients about gum (periodontal) disease. The project has a joint dental public health and language/discourse focus. Marion is supervised by Dr Aru Tugnait and Karen Vinall-Collier of the Dental School with Dr Ruth Payne of Linguistics – all of whom are based at the University of Leeds.

Marion's earlier research interests include shedding light on the transition from school to university experienced by first-year students, as well as examining other transitions during a course, e.g. when students first conduct a final year research project. In focusing on these transitional stages, Marion is interested in identifying any threshold concepts that may act as barriers to students’ understanding and in exploring ways to overcome such barriers to unlock students’ academic potential. Marion's recent research into such thresholds includes collaborative action research with disciplinary lecturers to e.g. reduce plagiarism rates in beginning International Masters students, improve attainment for Nursing students in academic reflective writing, and improve performance for Computing students writing up their the projects.




  • Masters in Science Education, PGCHEP, DELTA, CELTA, BSc
  • Postgraduate certificate in Dental Ethics and Law
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Postgraduate certificate in Higher Education Practice
  • Diploma and Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults

Professional memberships

  • University of Leeds Academic Skills Network
  • Association for Learning Development in Higher Education
  • British Association for lecturers in English for Academic Purposes

Student education

Provides 1-2-1 academic support for students which includes writing support, resit support and support for international students

Develops bespoke workshops for embedded study strategy development within modules

Lead tutor for international students in the School

Module lead for an introductory module for pre-dentists and pre-medics on the International Foundation Year programme (DSUR0100) 

Contributes to general staff team teaching activities, e.g. MMI's, OSCE's, SP roleplay facilitation