UCL Mathematical & Physical Sciences


Francesca Scott

Francesca Scott is the new Director of Education and Student Experience in the Faculty of Mathematical and Physical Sciences.

Francesca Scott

2 November 2023

When did you take up this position? What was your position beforehand?

I took over the role at the beginning of August this year after being Education Manager at the School of Sustainable Construction in The Bartlett for a period of two years. Before then, I was at the University of Amsterdam for just over eight years as Head of Studies and Lecturer for a Liberal Arts and Sciences programme. 

I taught interdisciplinary courses – particularly around the intersection between literature and science – poetry and prose (with a focus on Romantic and nineteenth century literature), and writing, while also managing the Academic Core department.

Prior to that, I taught at the University of Warwick in the Department of Comparative Literature and I have a PhD in late eighteenth century women’s writing (the period of the French Revolution), from Warwick. 

Tell us about your work at UCL - how do you spend your days, and what makes your role different to similar positions?

My role in the MAPS Faculty is varied and interesting. My agenda is always packed with meetings: committees, working groups, one-to-ones, as well as some meetings with students. 

Since I am relatively new to the role, a large part of what I’ve recently been doing is meeting with different people from across departments to understand various needs, ideas, challenges and cultures, and I have found this really enjoyable and revealing.

I try to put time aside each week to brainstorm and work on projects – I like to have something to ‘get my teeth into’. Since previous roles have been focused in much smaller environments, I am very much enjoying the sense of breadth and depth the DESE role affords and the opportunity to reach out in different directions and to get involved.

What are some of your favourite things about working at UCL? How have you found it different to previous jobs?

I love the busyness of UCL. There is always something going on, always something to participate in – a working group, a workshop, a student initiative. It is impossible to be bored or to get trapped in the same routine or way of doing things.

We talk a lot about the ‘complexity’ of UCL and how to simplify things, and while there is obviously a need for this, there is also something very wonderful about complexity: it forces you to be a bit more thoughtful, to think a little outside of the box, and avoid over-simplification.

Can you tell us about any upcoming projects that you're looking forward to working on?

I am very interested in the ‘third space’ and the possibilities this territory affords, and I am just starting to sketch out projects that might open up working space between academic and professional practice in MAPS and bring professional services and academic staff into closer conversation.

I am also passionate about improving the experience and contribution of Postgraduate Teaching Assistants across the Faculty, and this is another area of focus for me in the coming year.  

Have you always been based in London? If not, when did you move here, and how did you find adapting to living in London?

I do not live in London, not have I ever. I was born in West Yorkshire but lived a large portion of my life in North Yorkshire, on the East Coast. I currently live in Cambridgeshire and commute into London, and I suspect this might be as far ‘south’ as I will ever live! I don’t mind the commute – I enjoy the thinking time I get on the train.  

Finally, tell us about your non-work life. Do you have any hobbies, or favourite places to go in London?

Most of my time outside of work is taken up with my two daughters and their busy schedules, but I am an avid reader and always have a book on the go. I also return to the same books many times, especially if I have something on my mind. I find that reading helps me process and understand whatever is going on in my life. 

Whenever I have the chance, I also head back up to Yorkshire to spend time with family and ramble about.