Staff Profile

  • Dr Sarah Rawlinson joined the University of Northampton in 2021 after a career as Head of the Centre for Contemporary Hospitality and Tourism at the University of Derby.  Her professional interests include the development of curriculum models that support vocational learning and provide opportunities for students to learn how to bring theory alive and link it to practical application. She has been involved in developing opportunities for students to gain as much experiential learning as part of their degree to support their professional development and provide students with experiences that support employability and prepare graduates for industry.  

    Dr Rawlinson is an Executive Member of the Council for Hospitality Educators, an auditor for THE-ICE Assessment Panel and a Trustee for the Buxton Crescent Heritage Trust a registered charity established to preserve the Crescent buildings in Buxton and to create an inspiring visitor experience.  She has also consulted with High Peak Borough Council and Derbyshire County Council Steering Committee on a tourism strategy for the county.

    Her international experience includes partnerships with Switzerland’s leading Hospitality Education Group including the Swiss Hotel Management School. Cesar Ritz and IHTTI providing excellent education for students from around the world.  She also worked with partners in Botswana. China, Hong Kong, Singapore, The Netherlands and Greece.

    Dr Rawlinson has a Doctor of Education from the University of Derby, an MSc in Tourism and Hospitality Education from the University of Surrey and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. 

    Prior to her academic career Dr Rawlinson worked in the travel industry specialising in group travel, including conferencing, incentive travel and events.


  • Dr Rawlinson coordinates the academic relationship between the University and its international partnership organisations at the module level.  She is responsible for providing academic oversight of quality and standards and the implementation of the University’s quality assurance and enhancement processes.

    Dr Rawlinson also supervises MBA and PhD students.

  • Dr Rawlinson’s research interests include tourism destination management, talent management and the demands for talented young people in the tourism and hospitality industry, the relationship between industry and higher education, the development of curriculum, work-based learning and the different use of knowledge in the workplace. She is also a reviewer for several academic journals and is the founding member of the International Journal of Spa and Wellness.

    Dr Rawlinson has presented seminars at a range of different conferences and universities.  She was a founding member and part of the organising committee for the Tourism Naturally Conference in partnership with Colorado State University and Central Normal China University.

  • Journals
    • Shaw P, Sheffield D, and Rawlinson S. (2020). Exploring the Problem of Establishing Horizon Emergent Technologies within a Higher Education Institution’s Operational Framework. European Journal of Open, Distance and E-Learning.
    • Rawlinson S. (2018). Tourism Naturally conference review. International Journal of Spa and Wellness 1:3 · Mar 1, 2019
    • Rawlinson S and Dewhurst P, (2013). How can effective university – industry partnerships be developed? Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes Vol. 5 No. 3, pp. 255-267
    • Shaw, P. and Rawlinson, S., (2022). Pedagogical Models of Digital Learning in the United Kingdom: Lessons for Africa. In The Emerald Handbook of Higher Education in a Post-Covid World: New Approaches and Technologies for Teaching and Learning (pp. 39-69). Emerald Publishing Limited.
    • Rawlinson S, and Heap T. Ed, (2017). International Spa Management. Principles and Practices. Goodfellows
    • Wiltshier, P. and Rawlinson, S.  (2017). Developing a wellness destination: a case study of the Peak District: In Handbook of Health Tourism. Routledge
    • Wiltshier, P. and Rawlinson, S. (2017). Student and Practitioner Experience from Learning Laboratories. In Handbook of Teaching and Learning in Tourism. Edward Elgar
    • Rawlinson, S. and Dowthwaite-Blay, K. (2013). Benefits of Higher Education to the International Spa Industry: A UK Perspective. In Health Tourism and Hospitality: Wellness, Spas and Medical Travel. Routledge