Professor Hilary Neve

Professor Hilary Neve

Professor in Medical Education

Peninsula Medical School (Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry)


 I am a National Teaching Fellow (2016) and Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.  As Associate Head of School and Professor of Medical Education I lead the ongoing development of the School's medical education strategy and oversee its implementation.  I take overall responsibility for our Problem Based Learning and social engagement programmes, our Small Group "Jigsaw" programme (where students share and explore their professionalism and human science learning from placements) and for learning and assessment of professionalism throughout the 5 year undergraduate course. 

My research interests include Threshold Concepts in medical education, the hidden curriculum and the development of learner capability.

I am also a GP principal at Adelaide and St Levan Surgeries, Plymouth. 


M.Ed. (Bristol University) 1993
MRCGP 1990
DTM&H 1989
MBChB (Bristol University) 1983
BSc (Bristol University) 1980

Professional membership

National Teaching Fellow 2016
Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
Member of the Royal College of General Practitioners
Member of the British Medical Association
Member of the Society for Academic Primary Care
GMC Registered

Roles on external bodies

ClinicalDirector, Plymouth and Bristol Universities Professional and Generic SkillsProgramme 
Trustee, Well Connected Communities, Plymouth
Co-Chair, International Threshold Concepts in Health Group CATCH

Teaching interests

  • Problem Based Learning, its underpinning pedagogy and developing cases to reflect broader doctor roles
  • Small Group Learning, particularly with respect to professionalism learning
  • Professionalism Learning and Assessment
  • Capability versus competence
  • Threshold Concepts in Medical Education
  • Global Health and Population Health
  • Ethical aspects of Student Electives
  • Quality improvement in healthcare
  • Shared Decision Making in healthcare and medical education
  • Improving patient access to general practice/healthcare
  • GP Appraisal and continuing professional development

Staff serving as external examiners

External Examiner, George’s MedicalSchool, for MBBS Doctor as Professional Domain

Research interests

Current research projects include:

  • Using audio diaries to researching threshold concepts and troublesome knowledge in Problem-Based Learning and social engagement


  • Promoting shared decision making in medical education


  • Exposing the hidden curriculum to students and teachers/the hidden curriculum as a threshold concept

  • Researching touch as a threshold concept as a member of an international collaboration

Neve H. (2018) Learning to become a primary care professional: insights fromthreshold concept theory, Education for Primary Care, DOI: 10.1080/14739879.2018.1533390

Martindale, L., Barradell, S., Neve, H., and Land, R. (2018)Editorial: Special issue on threshold concepts in health and social care. International Journal of Practice-basedLearning in Health and Social Care 6 (1), ii–iv

Land R, Neve H, Martindale L. 2018. Threshold Concepts,Action Poetry and the Health Professions: An Interview with Ray Land.International Journal of Practice-based Learning in Health and Social Care Vol.6 No 1 Special Issue: 45-52

Neve H, Gilbert K, Lloyd H. Threshold Concept or Threshold Capability?  Using audio-diaries to explore PBL in medical education.  2018. Threshold Concepts and Problem-based Learning Savin-Baden M, TombsG (Eds)

Neve H, Collett T. Empowering students with the hidden curriculum. Clinical Teacher, published Early Online, November 2017

Morris R, Neve H. Learning and teaching professionalism. In: The ABC of Learning and Teaching in Medicine, 3rd edition. BMJ Books: Wiley Blackwell. 2017.

Collett T, Stephen N, Neve H. 2017. Using audio diaries to identify threshold concepts in “softer” disciplines: a focus on medical education.  Practice and Evidence of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 12(2) Special Issue: Threshold Concepts and Conceptual Difficulty. 12(2): 97-115. PEARL

Neve H, Bull S, Lloyd H, Gilbert K, Mattick K. 2017. Evaluation of an innovative evidence-guided PBL approach. Clinical Teacher 14: 1-7. Author Site DOI  PEARL

Neve H, Morris R, 2017. Twelve tips for promoting professionalism through reflective small group learning. MedEdPublish, 6, [1], 43, DOI

Burr S, Neve H, Leung Y. Evaluating your Professionalism. 2016. British Journal of Hospital Medicine 77(11): 634-637.  DOI PEARL

Neve H, Lloyd H, Collett T. 2016: Understanding students’ experiences of professionalism learning: a ‘threshold’ approach, Teaching in Higher Education. DOI PEARL

Neve H, Wearn A, Collett T. 2016. What are threshold concepts and how can they inform medical education? Medical Teacher 38(8): 850-853. , DOI PEARL

Neve H, Hanks S. “When I say…capability.” 2016. Medical Education; 50: 610-611. DOI PEARL

Neve H, Brimacombe L. 2012. GP Phone Home, Health Service Journal.

Westcott R, Neve H. 2000. Getting GPs onto the learning cycle: a practical approach using a new evaluation form. Education for General Practice 11:186-192.

Fisher B, Neve H, Heritage Z. 1999. Community development, user involvement and primary health care. BMJ 318:749-50.

Neve H, Taylor P. 1995. Working with the community. BMJ 311:524-5.

Harrison L, Neve H. 1996. A review of innovations in primary health care. Bristol: Policy Press.

Neve H. 1996. Community assessment in general practice. In: Burton P, Harrison L. (eds) Identifying local health needs: new community based approaches. Bristol: Policy Press.

Reports & invited lectures

Threshold Concepts in Medical Education

Meek S, Neve H & Gilbert K. Using the Threshold Concept Framework toexplore student learning by PBL in two UK Medical Schools. Paper acceptedfor presentation at ISSOTL 2018, Bergen, Norway

Neve H. Thresholdconcepts and Troublesome Knowledge: implications for public health education. Workshop at PHEMS (Public Health Educators in Medical Schools) 2018,July 018, London.

Neve H. Threshold concepts, troublesome knowledge,and their relevance for GP training. Plymouth Trainers Group 3rd AnnualSymposium, Plymouth, May 2018

Neve H. 'Aha' Moments and Troublesome Learning. Invited lecture, Centre for Medical Education (C4ME), Cardiff, March 2018

Neve H. Desert Island Concepts. Professorial Inaugural Lecture. Plymouth University,February 2018

Neve H. Thresholds, Struggles and Aha Moments: exploring the learner experience.  Keynote address at Education Doctorate Research Summer School Conference, University of Exeter, July 2017.

Neve H, Wearn A and Clouder L. Threshold concepts forclinical skills teachers: what are they and how can they help us improveteaching and develop curricula? 7th InternationalClinical Skills Conference, Prato, Italy, May 2017.

Neve H, Gilbert K, Lloyd H. Is PBL a threshold concept? Presentation at InternationalCollaborating around Threshold Concepts in Health Conference, Coventry, April2017

Gilbert KG, Neve H, Lloyd H. “What I really sort of struggled with…” Theuse of audio-diaries to identify threshold concepts and troublesome knowledgein a Year 1 Problem Based Learning programme. Presentation at AMEE AnnualConference 2016, Barcelona.

Martindale L, Neve H. Threshold concepts and troublesome knowledge:offering new insights into learning through medical and nursing educationresearch. Dundee Health Professions Education ResearchSeminar and Workshop. Dundee, University, May 2015.

Neve H. Thresholdconcepts in medical educationMedical Education Research Seminar and Workshopseries, Institute of Medical Education, Cardiff University, April 2015.

Neve H, Collett C, Evenden A. Engaging students to cross the portal: Threshold concepts and troublesomeknowledge.  Workshop at PUPSMD Education Conference, April2015.

Neve H, Stephen N, Lloyd H, Collett T. “I had oneof those “aha” moments….” The use of audio diaries to identify thresholdconcepts in “softer” disciplines and the implications of these for educators.  Presentation at "What's Hot in medicaleducation research" session, ASME Annual Scientific Meeting, Brighton, July2014.

NeveH, Stephen N, Lloyd H, Collett T. Using audio diaries to identify thresholdconcepts in “softer” disciplines: surprises, questions and implications.Presentation at 5th International Biennial Threshold Concepts Conference, Durham,July, 2014.

NeveH, Stephen N, Collett T. "I had one of those “aha” moments….” How mightthreshold concepts offer new insights into student learning and what are theimplications of these for educators? Workshop at PedRIO Annual Conference, Plymouth University, April 2014.


Problem/Case Based Learning

Gilbert K, Neve H. How hybrid PBL can support students to manage cognitive load: findings from an audio-diary study. Paper accepted for presentation at AMEE2018, Basel, Switzerland

Gilbert K, Lloyd H, Neve H. New perspectives on learning in Problem Based Learning: threshold concepts and troublesome knowledge. Presentation at PedRIO Annual Conference, Plymouth University, April 2017.

Neve H, Gilbert K, and Lloyd H. Using Audio-diaries to Understand Enablers to Learning Troublesome andThreshold Concepts in a Problem Based Learning Programme. Sixth InternationalBiennial Threshold Concepts Conference, Thresholds on the Edge, Halifax, NovaScotia. June 2016

Neve H. Updating PBL to reflect current evidence: why, what and how?Presentation at Glasgow Medical School, January 2016.

Neve H, Gilbert K, Bull S, Lloyd H, Mattick K. Promoting integrationand transfer of concepts in learning: practical approaches for problem basedand other learning activities. Workshop at ASME Annual Scientific Meeting, Brighton,July 2014.

Lloyd H, Mattick K, Bull S, Gilbert K, Neve H.  The challenges of applying theory andevidence to PBL: findings from an in-depth mixed methods research study.  Presentation at ASME Annual ScientificMeeting, Brighton, July 2014.

Neve H, Gilbert K, Lloyd H.  Frompedagogical principles to pilots to perceptions, priorities and practicalities:evaluating the re-design of a PBL programme. Presentation at PedRIO AnnualConference, Plymouth University, April 2014.

Neve H, Mattick K, Gilbert K, Bull S. Promoting integration andtransfer of concepts in PBL: the evolution of an Eight Step PBL process.  Presentation at ASME annual ScientificMeeting, Edinburgh, July 2013.

Neve H, Mattick K, Gilbert K, Bull S. Promoting integration andtransfer of concepts in learning: the evolution of an Eight Step PBL process.  Workshop at Vice-Chancellor’s Teaching andLearning Conference, Plymouth University, 2013.


Professionalism and ethics

Neve H. Teaching professionalism Keynote address at NACT Multi-SpecialtyConference, January 2018, London.

NeveH, Stephenson A, Harris J. Preventing andIdentifying Fitness to Practise issues. Medical Schools Council NationalFitness to Practice Conference, May 2016.

NeveH. What I have learnt about teachingprofessionalism. Keynote address, Cambridge Medical School ProfessionalismFacilitators’ Away Day, May 2016

NeveH. Teaching and Evaluating Professionalism.Cardiff Medical School Medical Education Seminar Series, March 2016

NeveH, Whitfield P. Professionalismassessment: current issues and future challenges.  Presentation at PUPSMD Assessment Away Day.September 2014.

Neve H, Corrigan O. Patientconsent and medical education. Workshop at PCMD Education Conference,Dartington, March 2012.


The hidden curriculum

Neve H. Revealing the ‘hidden curriculum’. Invited presentation, Centre for Medical Education(C4ME), Cardiff, Feb 2017

Neve H, Perrett P. The hidden curriculum and your power as a role models. HEE GPTrainers Conference, Newquay, November 2016.

Neve H. Thehidden curriculum and the power of role models. Workshop CambridgeMedical School Professionalism Facilitators’ Away Day, May 2016.

Neve H. Revealingthe Hidden Curriculum. Presentation to Higher EducationEngland/Medical Schools Council national GP career Working Group, April 2016.

Neve H, Collett T. “Just knowing it existed was almost enough”: revealing the hiddencurriculum to students. Presentation at PedRIO Conference. PlymouthUniversity, April 2015.

NeveH, Collett T. Revealing the hidden curriculum to medical students: insightsfrom threshold concept theory.  Presentationat 5th International Biennial Threshold Concepts Conference, Durham, July 2014.

Neve H, Collett T. Revealingthe hidden curriculum to medical students. Presentation at ASME Annual Scientific Meeting, July 2014, Brighton.



GilbertK, Neve H. Assessing professional skillsand behaviour in small groups: addressing diversity and inclusivity. Workshopat Equality of Assessment conference, Plymouth University, December 2016

NeveH, Stephenson A, Harris J. Preventing andIdentifying Fitness to Practise issues: the role of professionalism learningand assessment. Workshop at General Medical Council/Medical Schools Councilannual National Fitness to Practice Conference, May 2016

NeveH, Hanks S. Failing to Fail. Workshop atAssessment of Professionalism Conference, Plymouth University, December 2015.

NeveH, Whitfield P. Professionalismassessment: current issues and future challenges.  Presentation at PUPSMD Assessment Away Day.September 2014.

NeveH. “Why don’t we fail students?” Presentationto UK Council of Teachers of Professionalism meeting, London, March 2015.

NeveH. Assessment for Learning. Presentation at CAMERA Seminar Series, Plymouth University, March 2013.

Monrouxe L, Neve H. “Failingto fail".  Keynote PresentationASME “Doctors in Difficulty” Conference, London, 2011.




Hanks S, Neve H. "Moving fromcompetence to capability: preparing learners for an unpredictable future"workshop at FoMD Education Conference, Plymouth University, July 2018

Neve H. Hanks S. Moving from Competence to Capability -preparing Learners for the complexities of practice Workshop at NACTMulti-Specialty Conference, January 2018, London

Hanks S, Neve H, Endacott R. The transition from competence tocapability: Implications for clinical and professional programmes. Workshopat Vice Chancellor’s 15th Teaching and Learning Conference, PlymouthUniversity, June 2017

Hanks S, Neve H, Gale T, Endacott R. The transition from competence to capability: implications for a clinicalskills programme. International Clinical Skills Conference, Prato,Italy, May 2017.

Hanks S, Neve H. Ensuringstudents’ preparedness for practice: a reflective framework for assessingcapability. EBMA Assessment in Medical Education Conference. Exeter,October 2016

Neve H, Hanks S. UpendingMiller’s Pyramid: The importance of capability in preparing medical and dentalstudents for the complexities of practice. Presentation at the 17th Ottawa Conference and the ANZAHPE 2016Conference, Perth, Australia, March 2016.

Neve H, Hanks S. Professional capability in Medicine andDentistry.  Presentation atAssessment of Professionalism Conference, Plymouth University, December 2015.

NeveH, Hanks S. Training for competence orcapability: what is the difference, why does it matter and is capability athreshold concept? Presentation at Vice Chancellor's Teaching and LearningConference, Plymouth University, June 2015.

Neve H. Capability andCompetence: what is the difference and why does it matter?  Presentation to UK Council of Teachers ofProfessionalism, London, November 2014.


Professional Touch

Wearn A, Clouder L, Barradell S, Neve H. Developing professional touch –transitioning from laity to health professional: A qualitative researchsynthesis using Threshold Concept Framework. 7th InternationalClinical Skills Conference, Prato, Italy, 2017.

Wearn A,Barradell S, Clouder L, Neve H. Developingprofessional touch – transitioning from laity to health professional: Aqualitative research synthesis using Threshold Concept Framework. Australian& New Zealand Association for Health Professional Educators (ANZAHPE) 2017Conference, July 2017.

Clouder, L., Barradell, S., Neve, H. and Wearn, A. Touch: An ‘Edgy’ Concept for Health Professional Practice, SixthInternational Biennial Threshold Concepts Conference, Thresholds on the Edge, Halifax,Nova Scotia, Canada. June 2016:        


SharedDecision Making

Leyland R, Neve H,Maynard P. Supporting students to becomeshared decision makers through reflection. SW SAPC Meeting Building primarycare for the future – research, education and practice, March 2018

NeveH, Maynard V. Introducing shared decision making into medical education – apilot study. Presentation at “No decision about me without me”: embeddingshared decision making into undergraduate education' workshop, Higher EducationAcademy/Plymouth University, May 2014.

Ayres R, Davies L, Neve H,Maynard V. Share the load: shared decision making and the student curriculum– a pilot study.  Presentation atASME Annual Scientific Meeting, Edinburgh, July 2013.


SmallGroup Learning

Neve H, Perrett R. Small Group Learning.Workshop at Association of University Teachers of Psychiatry, Plymouth, July2015.

NeveH. Small Group Learning. Cardiff Medical School, invited workshop,annual Curriculum Conference, March 2011.

NeveH. Jigsaws and Small groups. Division of Medical Education presentation,PCMD, May 2011.


Research in practice

Monrouxe LV, Ferguson E, NeveH. Translating research into action: Just do it or research the impact? WorkshopASME “Doctors in Difficulty” Conference, London, 2011.


Gender in the workplace

NeveH. Women with Altitude. Presentationat Women in Science and Healthcare event, Plymouth University, March 2016


Healthcaredelivery and education

Perrett P, Neve H. Clinical reasoning in groups – opportunitiesand approaches. Clinical Reasoning in Medical Education conference, NationalScience Learning Centre, University of York, Dec 2017

Neve H. Education to deal with complexity and deprivation. Primary Care Conference: workforce sustainability and person-centred redesign, Plymouth University, Nov. 2017

Gradinger F, Neve H. Casebased learning for multiprofessional multimorbidity careaddressing burden of care and incorporatingpatients’ goals. Workshop at PrimaryCare Conference: workforce sustainability and person-centred redesign, PlymouthUniversity, Nov. 2017

Neve H, Smith W and xxx Understanding the needs of marginalised populations through communityengagement pathways. Presentation at Medical Schools Council ConferenceImproving the health of the public by 2040, London, July 2017

Neve H, Mayell S et al. Educating the Future Workforce.Workshops at ‘Integration: Making it Real’ Health and Social Care conference,Plymouth University, March 2016.

Neve H.Patient Access in General Practice. Presentation at Health and Social Care Futures 2 Conference, PlymouthUniversity, March 2014.

NeveH, Brimacombe L. Demand Exceeds capacity?Try Patient Access. Presentation to Lady Astor Group, Plymouth, April 2013.

Neve H, Brimacombe L. Patient Access.Presentation to Plymouth GPs and managers at Quality and Productivity event November2012 and, by invitation, subsequent in-depth workshops.

Social Engagement

Smith W, Neve H. Understandingthe needs of marginalised populations through community engagement pathways.Social Accountability in Medical Education Think Tank, Imperial College London,August 2018

Smith W, neve H,Witton R. Understanding the health needs of marginalised populations throughcommunity engagement pathways. Poster at Celebrating and Developing CommunityEngagement event, Plymouth University Research Festival, Devonport Guildhall,Jan 2018

Neve H, Smith W, Adnan H.Understanding the needs of marginalised populations through communityengagement pathways. Presentation at Medical Schools Council ConferenceImproving the health of the public by 2040, London, July 2017