Dr Nicola Swann


I am a Senior Lecturer and Course Leader in the Department of Applied and Human Sciences, having worked at Kingston University for the past 12 years. I am a passionate teacher, committed to improving the student experience, and an active researcher in the areas of biomechanics and sports injury. Prior to joining Kingston, I worked for Qinetiq as a biomechanist in military research, having gained a PhD in Biomechanics from The Royal Veterinary College studying the effects of growth on mechanics of locomotion in an athletic and fast-growing species, the ostrich. My interest in biomechanics started during my undergraduate studies in Mechanical Engineering (Brunel University) and was further enhanced through a sponsored MSc in Biomedical Engineering (University of Surrey) and clinical training with the NHS, which led me to focus on biological application of scientific and engineering theory. I now employ those skills on a daily basis in my teaching and research and aim to inspire others to try to understand how the human body moves.

Media enquiries

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Academic responsibilities

Senior lecturer in Sport and Exercise Biomechanics


  • PhD Biomechanics, The Royal Veterinary College, University of London
  • MSc Biomedical Engineering, University of Surrey
  • BEng Mechanical Engineering, Brunel University
  • Post Graduate Diploma, Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine
  • Post Graduate Certificate of Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, Kingston University
  • Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Teaching and learning

Course Director: Sport Science with Business (BSc)

Module Leader: LS6020 Biomechanics of Sport Performance and Injury and LS4009 Functional Anatomy and Exercise Physiology

Pedagogic Research Presentations

Swann, N. Inclusivity in pre-assessment support. Open University eSTEeM Centre for STEM Pedagogy, Invited Seminar 2020,  http://www.open.ac.uk/about/teaching-and-learning/esteem/events/esteem-seminar-series-inclusivity-pre-assessment-academic-support 

Swann, N., Moir, H., Owusu-Sekyere, F., Boddie, T., Barber, D. Pre-assessment support: Is it one size fits all? AdvanceHE Assessment and Feedback Symposium 2020.

Swann, N., Moir, H., Owusu-Sekyere, F., Boddie, T., Barber, D. Pre-Assessment Support: Student Uptake and Preferences. Kingston University Festival of Learning 2020

See 'Research' for Case Study: Inclusivity in Pre-Assessment Support

Outreach activity

Women in Science and Engineering - 'My Skills My Life' Role Model

Qualifications and expertise

  • Online Professional Development Course for External Examiners - Certified Completion
  • Post Graduate Certificate of Learning and Teaching in Higher Education

Undergraduate courses taught


Research Group

I am a member of the Sport, Exercise, Nutrition and Public Health Research Group (SENPHRG), working under the 'Physical Activity, Health and Well Being' theme. My subject-specific research areas include gait mechanics, fatigue and sports injury. 

Previous Research Students

Flaminia Ronca – PhD - Sport Biomechanics (Training and Rehabilitation) – Completion 2018

James Brouner – PhD - Biomechanics (Localised Muscular Fatigue) – Completion 2019

Anna Kosciuk – MSc by Research - Biomechanics (Injury) – Completion 2019

Luke Morton-Holtham – MSc by Research – Exercise for Health (Sarcoidosis) – Completion 2018

Internal and External Research Examiner


Invited reviewer for various journals including:

The Journal of the Royal Society 'Interface'

Journal of Zoology

Veterinary Research Communications

Journal of Morphology

Grant Reviewer for Royal Academy of Engineering 'Ingenious' grants

Areas of specialism

  • Biomechanics
  • Sports Injury
  • Gait Analysis

Scholarly affiliations

  • Member of the European College of Sport Science (ECSS)

Research student supervision

Case studies

Swann, Nicola, Moir, Hannah [Collaborator], Owusu-Sekyere, Frank [Collaborator], Boddie, Tia [Collaborator] and Barber, Diana [Collaborator] (2020) Inclusivity in Pre-Assessment Support. Internal Kingston University Report, unpublished.

An attainment gap persists between our UK domiciled white students and students of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups (BAME), despite the best efforts of the inclusive curriculum framework. It has previously been identified that use of academic language can be a contributing factor to lower attainment for BAME students (Open University Annual Report, 2013) and that they may be less likely to access support (Stuart et al., 2011). I set up a SADRAS project in collaboration with students and staff to investigate the use of pre-assessment support in Sport Science courses at Kingston University and explored students’ preferences, to determine whether differences were evident between BAME and white students. Results suggested differences in both use of academic support and preferences between student groups, with availability and location highlighted as constraints of use for BAME students. The results of this preliminary study were presented at the Advance HE Assessment and Feedback Symposium, leading to further dissemination at an invited seminar with the Open University STEM Pedagogy Group (eSTEeM). I am now extending the research with a second SADRAS project, extending the analysis to undergraduate students throughout the SEC Faculty.

This list was generated on Sat Apr 17 07:27:50 2021 BST.


Number of items: 22.


Howe, Christopher C. F., Swann, Nicola, Spendiff, Owen, Kosciuk, Anna, Pummell, Elizabeth K. L. and Moir, Hannah J. (2021) Performance determinants, running energetics and spatiotemporal gait parameters during a treadmill ultramarathon. European Journal of Applied Physiology, ISSN (print) 1439-6319 (Epub Ahead of Print)

Ronca, Flaminia, Spendiff, Owen and Swann, Nicola (2020) An electromyographic analysis of combining weights and elastic tubes as a method of resistance for exercise. Translational Sports Medicine, 3(2), pp. 164-170. ISSN (online) 2573-8488

Channon, Sarah B., Young, Iain S., Cordner, Beckie and Swann, Nicola (2019) Ontogenetic scaling of pelvic limb muscles, tendons and locomotor economy in the ostrich ('Struthio camelus'). Journal of Experimental Biology, 222(17), p. 182741. ISSN (print) 0022-0949

Brouner, James, Ramdharry, Gita and Swann, Nicola (2014) An isokinetic method for inducing a localised fatigue effect in the plantarflexors and dorsiflexors of the ankle. Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology, 24(6), pp. 841-847. ISSN (print) 1050-6411

Gonzalez-Fierro, Miguel, Balaguer, Carlos, Swann, Nicola and Nanayakkara, Thrishantha (2014) Full-body postural control of a humanoid robot with both imitation learning and skill innovation. International Journal Of Humanoid Robotics, 11(2), p. 1450012. ISSN (print) 0219-8436

Smith, Nicola C and Wilson, Alan M (2013) Mechanical and energetic scaling relationships of running gait through ontogeny in the ostrich ('Struthio camelus'). The Journal of Experimental Biology (JEB)(216), pp. 841-849. ISSN (print) 0022-0949

Smith, NC, Jespers, KJ and Wilson, AM (2010) Ontogenetic scaling of locomotor kinetics and kinematics of the ostrich (Struthio camelus). Journal of Experimental Biology, 213(8), pp. 1347-1355. ISSN (print) 0022-0949

Smith, N.C., Payne, R.C., Jespers, K.J. and Wilson, A.M. (2007) Muscle moment arms of pelvic limb muscles of the ostrich ('Struthio Ccamelus'). Journal of Anatomy, 211(3), pp. 313-324. ISSN (print) 0021-8782

Jindrich, Devin, Smith, Nicola C., Jespers, Karin and Wilson, Alan M. (2007) Mechanics of cutting manoeuvres by ostriches ('Struthio camelus'). Journal of Experimental Biology, 210(8), pp. 1378-1390. ISSN (print) 0022-0949

Smith, N. C., Wilson, A. M., Jespers, K. J. and Payne, R. C. (2006) Muscle architecture and functional anatomy of the pelvic limb of the ostrich ('Struthio camelus'). Journal Of Anatomy, 209(6), pp. 765-779. ISSN (print) 0021-8782

Conference or Workshop Item

Micallef, Ricarda, Ooms, Ann, Pummell, Elizabeth, Swann, Nicola and Moir, Hannah (2021) How does Covid-19 affect pharmacy students’ perceptions of on-campus learning? In: Life Long Learning in Pharmacy 2021 : The Journey of Learning; 27-30 Jun 2021, Dublin, Ireland (Held online). (In Press)

Swann, Nicola (2020) Inclusivity in pre-assessment academic support. In: OU eSTEeM Seminar Series; 26th November, Online. (Unpublished)

Swann, Nicola, Kosciuk, Anna and Moir, Hannah (2020) Too little too late? Runners seeking footwear and gait advice are already injured. In: European College of Sport Science (ECSS) 25th Anniversary Congress; 28th-30th October 2020, Online. (Unpublished)

Swann, Nicola, Moir, Hannah, Owusu-Sekyere, Frank and Boddie, Tia (2020) Pre-assessment support – Is it one size fits all? In: AdvanceHE Assessment and Feedback Symposium 2020; 28th October 2020, Online. (Unpublished)

Kosciuk, Anna, Moir, Hannah and Swann, Nicola (2020) Do more flexible feet explain differences in injury risks and patterns between female and male middle-distance runners? In: Women in Sport and Exercise Academic Network Virtual Conference 2020; 7th-8th September 2020, Online. (Unpublished)

Vatolik, Ivan, Swann, Nicola, Hunter, Gordon, Everington, Michael and Augousti, Andreas (2020) Correlating information from acoustic and biomechanical signals to detect and monitor injuries to human knee joints. In: UK Acoustics Network Bio-Medical Acoustics Special Interest Group Workshop; 26 Jun 2020, Online. (Unpublished)

Swann, Nicola, Moir, Hannah, Owusu-Sekyere, Frank, Boddie, Tia and Barber, Diana (2020) Pre-assessment support : student uptake and preferences. In: Kingston University Festival of Learning 2020 : Supporting Students and Staff in Challenging Times; 23 Jun 2020, Kingston upon Thames, U.K. (Held online). (Unpublished)

Kosciuk, Anna, Moir, Hannah and Swann, Nicola (2019) Investigation of running-related injury prevalence and trends in short, middle and long-distance recreational runners. In: BASES Conference 2019; 19th-20th November 2019, Leicester. (Unpublished)

Kosciuk, Anna and Swann, Nicola (2019) Increased injury risk in short, middle and long distance female runners. In: Women in Sport and Exercise Academic Network Conference 2019; 11th-12th June 2019, St Mary's University, Twickenham. (Unpublished)

Morton-Holtham, Luke, Moir, Hannah and Swann, Nicola (2018) The relationship between a direct measure of physical activity against self-reported physical activity, muscle strength, quality of life and exercise capacity in pulmonary sarcoidosis. In: British Thoracic Society Winter Meeting 2018; 5th-7th December 2018, London.

Ronca, Flaminia, Spendiff, Owen and Swann, Nicola (2017) Elastic tubes and dumbbells elicit complementary activation patterns that are enhanced at higher action velocities. In: 8th Asia-Pacific Congress on Sports Technology; 15th-19th October 2017, Tel Aviv. (Unpublished)

González-Fierro, Miguel, Balaguer, Carlos, Swann, Nicola and Nanayakkara, Thrishantha (2013) A humanoid robot standing up through learning from demonstration using a multimodal reward function. In: 2013 13th IEEE-RAS International Conference on Humanoid Robots (Humanoids); 15-17 Oct 2013, Atlanta, U.S..

This list was generated on Sat Apr 17 06:46:22 2021 BST.

Professional practice, knowledge exchange and impact

Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) member and 'My Skills My Life' Role Model

Collaborative Research Project with Profeet Ltd

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