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Professor John Sandars

Professor in Medical Education

Medical School



Professor of Medical Education

MBChB (Hons), MSc,MD, MRCP(UK), MRCGP,FAcadMEd,Diploma in Counselling, Diploma in Palliative Medicine, Cert Ed, FHEA


After training in hospital medicine, John entered the world of General Practice. John was also a GP trainer, GP tutor, Macmillan GP Facilitator in Palliative Medicine and part-time lecturer in general practice, with a focus on community based education, at the University of Manchester. During his time in general practice, he was awarded the AH Robins’ Fellowship in General Practice Research. He was  Director of e-learning for health and  a member of the team that designed and implemented the first UK Masters in Population Health in the Evidence for Population Health Unit at the University of Manchester. 

John developed his academic career in medical education as Associate Professor in the Leeds Institute of Medical Education, University of Leeds and was appointed Professor in Medical Education at the University of Sheffield before moving to Edge Hill University in 2016 as Professor of Medical Education.

John is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Educators and Higher Education Academy. Whilst at the University of Leeds, he was awarded a University Teaching Fellowship and was also a World University Network Visiting Scholar at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has received major funding for national and international projects including Health Education England, GMC, NICE, JISC, MPS Foundation and European Union Framework 7. Total research funding has been over £1.5 million. John’s research has led to over 200 peer-reviewed publications, with a 2023 Scopus h-index of 30. He has been key note speaker at national and international conferences, as well as being a Visiting Professor at the University of Pretoria, South Africa and Honorary Professor in Medical Education at the University of Sheffield.

John is an Associate Editor for  Medical Teacher and a member of the editorial board for the International Journal of Medical Education. He is  Assessment Panel Lead for the Academy of Medical Educators, a  member of the Advisory Board of the NIHR Incubator for Clinical Education Research ( and immediate past co-chair of the AMEE Technology Enhanced Learning Committee.

John is co-lead of the IPP (Improving Professional Practice) research theme and Clinical Education Research Group (CERG) in the Faculty of Health, Social Care and Medicine at Edge Hill University, and is a member of the Health Research Institute. He is actively involved with the new Edge Hill University Medical School, where he is Director of Medical Education Innovation and Scholarship. His main focus of research is developing the individual potential and  performance of health professionals across the continuum of medical education, from undergraduate to continuing. His approach is multi-disciplinary and collaborative, with national and  international researchers.  He also has a special interest in applying insights from health profession education  into the design, implementation and evaluation of clinical and health service interventions, including  the application of self-regulated learning and metacognition theories,  and the evaluation of complex teaching and training interventions.

Lead supervisor of the  2020 ASME PhD studentship (student: Dr Rob Jay) with colleagues from Edge Hill University (Professor Jeremy Brown), Queen Mary University of London ( Professor Rakesh Patel) and University of Nottingham (Professors Emma Wilson). Investigating clinical reasoning using self-regulated learning  and virtual patients.

John has successfully supervised 7 PhD students to completion and is an experienced PhD external examiner. He has provided faculty development workshops in both the UK and internationally, including Australia,Barbados,Brazil,China,Dominica,Egypt,India, North Macedonia, Oman, Poland, Qatar,Singapore, South Africa, Taiwan and Ukraine.

MSc Dissertation (University of Manchester): Sensemaking in community tutors on the Manchester undergradaute degree programme: a social constuctionist perspective 

MD Thesis (University of Manchester): Online collaborative learning for healthcare continuing professional development 

FULL LIST OF PUBLICATIONS (including prior to Edge Hill University): PUBMED

GOOGLE SCHOLAR (with current h-index and i10-index)

SCOPUS (with current h-index)