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Dr Sonia Hood

Study Advice Manager

Sonia Hood


  • Manages the Study Advice Team
  • Develops the strategic direction of the service and promotes learning development across the University
  • Offers one-to-one advice sessions with individual students on developing more effective study practices
  • Teaches embedded sessions within departments on areas of skills development
  • Develops resources to support student practices
  • Supports PhD students to develop their academic skills

Sonia is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and ALDinHE 2020 Award Winner.

Areas of interest

Sonia has a Business Management background gaining her first degree in this subject in 1995 and completing post graduate qualifications in Marketing and Management. In 2006, while teaching Marketing and Numeracy at the University of West London, Sonia gained a PGCE in Post Compulsory Education, and went on to a position in Study Advice at the same university. Since her arrival at the University of Reading in 2011, transition has continued to be an area of research interest for her. She is particularly interested in identifying the various ways that students acquire and develop the skills that are crucial for study success during their first year.

Sonia completed her Doctorate in Education in 2019, researching the impact of self-efficacy on academic writing attainment. Her research has led to changes in how writing development is supported within the curriculum of the University's Foundation degree programme. She also has an interest in group assessments and was awarded a Teaching and Learning Fund in 2015/16 to research the challenges and solutions to group work from a student perspective. In addition, in 2019 she was awarded a Diversity and Inclusion Fund to explore the perceptions of group work from a cultural perspective.

As a member of the Study Advice team, Sonia received Team Awards for Outstanding Contribution to Teaching and Learning in 2014 and 2018. She is currently working with other members of the Study Advice team on the Study Smart OOC for new undergraduate students at the University.

Professional Association

2015 - 2022: Member of the Association of Learning Development in Higher Education (ALDinHE) and Chair of the Communication and Marketing working group

2013-2015: Chair of ALDinHE's Learn Higher working group

2012-2015: Member of ALDinHE's steering group


Hood, S (2024), Succeeding at Learning Development. In: Syska, A. and Buckley, C. (eds.) How to be a Learning Developer in Higher Education: Critical Perspectives, Community and Practice. Routledge

Powell, E. and Hood, S. (2023) Helping students to learn how to critically evaluate a source: how effective are the tools we use?, Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education, (29). doi: 10.47408/jldhe.vi29.990.

Koromila, G. and Hood, S. (2023) The ‘master’s dissertation fair’: reflections on impact and future development, Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education, (29). doi: 10.47408/jldhe.vi29.1097.

Hood, S (2019), I believe I can write: exploring the impact of writing workshops on self-efficacy for Foundation degree students, Ed.D thesis, University of Reading, Reading, England

(With Kim Shahabudin and Michelle Reid) Right time, right space? Developing an online transition course for new undergraduates, Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education: Special Edition: ALDinHE Conference 2018 (2018), available online at

Reid, M., Hood, S. and Shahabudin, K. (2015), Effective interventions for maintaining Master's student motivation, in P. E. Kneale (ed.), Masters Level Teaching, Learning and Assessment: Issues in Design and Delivery, London: Palgrave (2015), 64-70.

Reid, M., Shahabudin, K. and Hood, S. (2014), Case study: the 24/7 Study Advice workshop, Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education: Special Edition: Digital Technologies in Learning Development (2014), available online at

Study Advice Team