Mr Michael Cole

Senior Lecturer

Sports injuries, rehabilitation, and sports trauma management

Department of Bioscience and Sport , School of Health, Sport and Bioscience

Michael Cole (PFHEA) is a National Teaching Fellow (NTF) who holds a BSc in Sports Therapy (SST), a PGC(H)E, and a PgDip in Sports Pedagogy. He is a Senior lecturer and (part-time) PhD researcher.

Michael leads modules in sports injuries, rehabilitation, and sports trauma management, and specialises in award-winning inclusive teaching approaches and technology-enhanced learning innovation.


  • BSc, PGC(H)E, PgDip

Areas Of Interest

  • Sports & Exercise Therapy within in Sports, Leisure and Public Health
  • Sports injuries
  • Rehabilitation
  • Sports trauma management
  • Critical anti-racist pedagogies
  • Inclusive teaching approaches and technology-enhanced learning innovation
On This Page


Michael Cole is an award-winning academic, with National Teaching Fellow (NTF) and Principal Fellow (PFHEA) status. Michael holds a BSc in Sports Therapy, a PGC(H)E, and a PgDip in Sports Pedagogy. He is a Senior Lecturer and (part-time) PhD researcher. Michael leads modules in Sports Injuries and Sports Therapies, and previously designed and led the BSc Sports Therapy to 100% Student Satisfaction (NSS), 93% graduate employability (DLHE), and -2% Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic awarding gap (PowerBi).

Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and Senior Lecturer with 18 years' experience in teaching (primarily in Sports & Exercise Therapy, musculoskeletal physical therapies, and specialising in the role of exercise in performance, rehabilitation, and the treatment of pain and dysfunction) and in interdisciplinary sports medical teams (including with British Swimming and Team GBR).

Michael is a P/T PhD candidate in the School of Education & Communities, a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and a practising musculoskeletal clinician. Michael's professional career began in 2001 in private practice, elite sport, and vocational education.

Michael has been responsible for leading academic delivery of the BSc (Hons) Sports Therapy programmes at the University of East London, whilst developing projects to enhance equity and cultural-competency in learning, teaching and assessment, and engaging in doctoral research in the field of equity pedagogy.

In 2020 Michael was awarded National Teaching Fellowship (NTFS) by Advance HE.

Michael is a past recipient of the 'Extra Mile Award for Inspirational Teaching' and co-recipient of the Pro Vice-Chancellor's 'Excellence Award for Teaching and Learning'.

His areas of interest are primarily exercise therapy, interpersonal skills in healthcare, Critical Race Theory and developing equitable, evidence-informed teaching and learning strategies. Michael teaches and leads across levels 4, 5 and 6, and is an Athena SWAN mentor and a Learning & Teaching 'Champion' for the College of Applied Health and Communities.

Michael grew up in Essex, not far from the London docks that were central to the colonial crimes of empire. He believes that the ways we make sense of who we are and how we got here helps to shape society. Michael is committed to interrogating complicities in educational injustices and is committed to action for its betterment. This has been shaped by experiences in sport and education in Cambridge, USA, Turkey, France, Spain, Belgium, Serbia, and China. It is a commitment that underpins Michael's work as a Sports Therapy clinician, a Senior Lecturer, and as a consultant in education, particularly in quality assurance, anti-racism, and exercise in physical therapies. 

Michael is a member of the Race Equality Charter team at UEL, co-leading on learning and teaching staff developments using critical and equity pedagogy.

He is a member of:

  • Access and Participation Plan (APP) Steering Group
  • HEA CREST Professional Standards Framework Committee
  • Learning and Teaching Quality Committee
  • Learning and Teaching Symposiums Steering Group
  • Technology Enhanced Learning sub-committee
  • Editorial Review Board (Journal of Impact Culture)

External roles

Michael is an external consultant in Higher Education, sports, and healthcare industries; he has been a verifier and examiner for two national awarding bodies, sat on several national committees/groups, and has twice been selected as a guest speaker at the annual British Association of Sport & Exercise Medicine (BASEM) national conferences. 

Michael is previously an undergraduate degree Programme Leader, a HEA Principle Fellow and serves as a member of various institutional and national groups. Michael has previously worked in Further Education, and in elite sport, including in swimming (with Team GB), as a national quality assurer for two international professional accrediting bodies, and as an External Examiner. Michael has served/serves on various groups including:

  • Communities of Practice Success Group
  • Access and Participation Plan (APP) Steering Group
  • Race Equality Charter Mark Learning/Teaching Anti-Racist Taskforce
  • Equity Collective
  • Race Equality Charter Mark Self-Assessment Team
  • AdvanceHE CREST Professional Standards Framework Committee & Steering Group
  • Learning and Teaching Quality Committee
  • Learning and Teaching Symposiums Steering Group
  • Digital Proficiency Framework / Technology Enhanced Learning Group (2016)

Michael has also been an Athena SWAN Mentor and an area 'Learning & Teaching Champion'. Michael is responsible for the STEP graduate employability initiative, and the B.E.A.T. student-staff collaborative group.


Recent speeches:

  • 2019 - AdvanceHE NET2019 Conference: Networking for Education in Healthcare - Anti-Racist Praxis
  • 2019 - HERAG/Sheffield Hallam University: Race Equity through Pedagogy Conference - Anti-Racist Praxis
  • 2018 - BASEM Annual Conference – 'Return to Work: Criteria-Based Rehabilitation'
  • 2018 - SST Academic Forum – 'Effective & Inclusive Learning & Assessment in Sport/Healthcare Education'
  • 2018 - College of Applied Health & Communities Conference (UEL) - 'Inclusive Teaching Practice'
  • 2018 - University of Derby FE Showcase - 'Critical Pedagogy in Practice'
  • 2017 - City of Liverpool College - 'Problematizing Whiteness and Achieving Inclusivity in Education'
  • 2017 - SST Academic Forum - 'Unconscious Biases and Inclusivity in Healthcare Education'
  • 2017 - University of Huddersfield - 'Thinking Differently About Teaching and Learning: Whiteness in Education'
  • 2017 - ECU/AdvanceHE HERAG Think Tank – 'Teaching and Learning: Inclusivity in Higher Education'
  • 2016 - ResearchEd - 'Teaching and Learning: FE to HE Transition and the BAME Attainment Gap'
  • 2016 - Beijing Sports University - 'Exercise Rehabilitation in Sport'
  • 2016 - CELT (UEL) - 'Raising achievement via learning science and inclusivity'
  • 2016 - CELT (UEL) - Innovations in Graduate Employability


  • Cole, M. 2020. Understanding Critical Whiteness Studies: Harmful or Helpful in the Struggle for Racial Equity in the Academy? [in Thomas & Arday, 2020, Doing Diversity for Success in Higher Education: Redressing Structural Inequalities in the Academy'] Palgrave Macmillan.


BSc (Hons) Sports Therapy

If you want to work with injured athletes and help them back to full fitness and competition, this course is for you.

Read more


  • Sports Injuries
  • Exercise Rehabilitation
  • Soft-tissue Therapies
  • Professional Practice