Sangster, Paola



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Personal profile


Paola Sangster was born in Dundee, and showed an early interest in music. In 1990, she moved to Glasgow to studied music at the RSAMD after which she taught in an independent school in Glasgow as a primary and secondary school music teacher for 13 years. In 2003, Paola was appointed Director of Music at the school. On returning to her home-town of Dundee, Paola embarked upon the PGDE Primary course to broaden her experience and qualifications in other curricular areas. In August 2008 she became lecturer in music in primary education at the University of Dundee and later, Programme Director for the PGDE Primary/Secondary Programme (a role which she held for 5 years), then was appointed Head of Taught Postgraduate Studies in ESW.  In January 2020, Paola took on the role of Discipline Lead Teacher Education which she held until her appointment as Academic Lead for Initial Teacher Education in August 2021.  Paola is also keen to promote musical extra-curricular activities and runs the Staff/Student School of Education and Social Work Choir which performs annually at Christmas in the University of Dundee Chaplaincy Centre.  Paola's research interests include gender issues in Initial Teacher Education, which was a focus for her Masters' dissertation in 2015.  She is also interested in the impact of music on literacy and wellbeing in the primary classroom and on practitioners teaching in higher education. More recently, Paola has been working with Wendee White on a study of the experience of PGDE students during a year of COVID.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality

Education/Academic qualification

Master of Education, Study into the High Drop-Out Rate of Male Primary Students on the PGDE Primary Programme at the University of Dundee

Sep 201119 Nov 2015

Award Date: 19 Nov 2015

External positions

External Examiner, University of Aberdeen

Sep 2019Jul 2023

External Examiner, University of the Highlands and Islands

Sep 2018Jul 2022


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