Dr Swati Virmani

Job: Senior Lecturer in Economics

Faculty: Business and Law

School/department: Leicester Castle Business School

Address: De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, LE1 9BH

T: N/A

E: swati.virmani@dmu.ac.uk

W: https://www.dmu.ac.uk


Personal profile

Swati is a Senior Lecturer in Economics and Deputy Director of the Doctor of Business Administration Programme at De Montfort University. She is an Associate at the Economics Network and has recently been awarded the University Teacher Fellowship. She has a widespread experience in developing curricula at undergraduate, postgraduate, and enterprise levels. She has spearheaded the integration of new topics such as Economics of AI into core modules, ensuring students graduate with relevant and contemporary knowledge. 

Her research aims to bridge the gap between academia and industry, focusing on AI and its impact on professions, building inclusive smart cities, and digital strategy building. As a member of the CIPR’s AI in PR (Public Relations) panel, Swati has worked on three major research reports, analysing the use of AI tools in PR, assessing the profession's preparedness for an AI future, and emphasising the practical support required for upskilling. Her most recent work also includes the public engagement project funded by the Alan Turing Institute (UK) to work with people from different backgrounds and underrepresented groups to expand public knowledge and unbiased information around data science and AI.

Research group affiliations

Institute of Applied Economics and Social Value

Publications and outputs

Pedagogic research -

  • Public Relations in the Age of AI – CIPR Engage Podcast
  • Beyond technology: The importance of Continuous Professional Development – JISC Podcast
  • CPD isn’t just good business sense, it’s crucial to staff wellbeing – JISC Member Story
  • ‘Reflecting to Rebuild and Strengthen Professional Development: A Collection of post-online Conversations’ – Monograph
  • Compatibility in Lockdown (use of ‘Dear Data’) – Association for Learning Technology Blog
  • What to keep and what to leave? Lessons to rethink your pedagogy – Economics Network Case Study
  • Academics share experiences of navigating the 'new normal' in HE – DMU News Feed
  • Engaging Students in an Online Economics Community – Economics Network Case Study – Virtual Symposium on Online Teaching

Research Artciles & Publications - 

2023    ‘Humans needed, more than ever – An analysis of the use of AI in public relations and the impact on public relations work’ – Report for Chartered Institute of Public Relations (with A Gregory, J Valin)

2021    ‘The AI and Big Data Readiness Report: Assessing the Public Relations Profession’s Preparedness for an AI Future’. Chartered Institute of Public Relations: London (with A Gregory). Available here

2020  ‘Performance and Efficiency in Indian Universities’, Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.seps.2020.100834 (with G Johnes, J Johnes).

2020 ‘The Economic Impact of the Coronavirus Pandemic for Leicester’. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3622981 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3622981. (with E Cartwright, T A Luong and J Payne)

2020 'The Effects of AI on the Professions'. Chartered Institute of Public Relations: London (with A Gregory). Available here.

2019  ‘Chief executive pay in UK higher education: the role of university performance’.  Annals of Operations Research, 1-30 (with J Johnes) [https://doi.org/10.1007/s10479-019-03275-2].

2019  ‘Are Technology Transfers Skill Biased?’ The Indian Journal of Labour Economics, Vol. 62(2), pp. 239-263.

2019  ‘The efficiency of private and public schools in urban and rural areas: moving beyond the development goals’. International Transactions in Operational Research, 13(5), e12678 (with G Johnes) [https://doi.org/10.1111/itor.12658].

Research interests/expertise

  • AI Literacy – Impact on Industry & Professions
  • Building Inclusive Smart Cities
  • Digital Capability Framework
  • Innovative Pedagogies

Areas of teaching

  • Economics of AI
  • Emerging Markets & International Economy
  • Financial Economics
  • Property Market Analysis


PhD Economics – University of Manchester, UK (2014)

MA Economics – Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi, India (2009)

BA (Hons) Economics – Shri Ram College of Commerce, University of Delhi, India (2007)

Courses taught

Module Leader and Lecturer:  3rd Year (Economics of Financial Markets & Central Bank); MSc (Block module – Contemporary Topics in Global Economics)

Programme Leader: MSc Property Management & Investment (Corporate Development Programme)

Honours and awards

Associate (appointed) – The Economics Network

Senior Fellow of Higher Education Academy

Awards & Nominations:

  • Awarded University Teacher Fellowship - 2023 
  • Nominated for the Student Choice Teaching Awards 2023
  • Awarded the 2021 'Best New Lecturer Award' by the Economics Network.
  • Nominated for the Business & Law Faculty’s 2021 TaLEnt (Teaching & Learning Enhancement) Award for ‘Excellence in Pedagogic Innovation’.
  • Awarded the 2020 Business & Law Faculty’s ‘Rising Star’ award.

Membership of professional associations and societies

AI in PR Panel Member – Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR)

Associate Editor for International Journal of Organizational Analysis

Association for Learning Technology (ALT) – CMALT (minor revision)

Member of Women in Artificial Intelligence UK

Professional licences and certificates

Certification - Data Science and AI Educators' Programme, The Alan Turing Institute (2023)

LEGO® Serious Play® Facilitator


Project Lead – Academic Innovation Project – ‘Enhance your subject specialism by embracing AI creatively’.

Core of the project – highlight the importance of pedagogy-first approach. This project acknowledges that educators need to maintain a strong connection to their subject specialisms while incorporating AI.

We follow a multi-model approach to escalate our teaching practices around the current shift towards AI in education. Frameworks that will form the foundation of this project will include – TPACK, UDL (learners’ variability), Backward Design principles, Carpentries material. The latter is specific to pedagogical resources looking at skills relating to data science and AI, takes an applied approach (use of personification, cognitive load, concept mapping, chunking, T-shaped competencies) to solving specific problems and providing hand-on practice. This project will incorporate a co-creation approach with inputs from colleagues across different faculties.

Disclaimer – this project is not about becoming an AI expert, it is about doing what educators must do best – Teaching! (whilst navigating through tech driven landscape)

The project recognises that the successful integration of AI technologies in education goes beyond the mere utilisation of tools and algorithms. It places a strong emphasis on the role of pedagogy in harnessing the full potential of AI to enhance learning and teaching experiences, and ensure that the subject matter remains central to students’ learning. AI should not overshadow or replace the expertise and knowledge that educators bring to their respective subjects. Instead, it should be seen as a complementary tool that amplifies the learning process, promotes innovative approaches to instruction, and ultimately improves student outcomes. The project aims to develop enhanced approaches and roadmaps to effectively leverage AI in ways that align with staff’s subject specialisms. We will explore how AI can be used to address specific learning objectives (including for minorities), facilitate personalised learning experiences, promote critical thinking, and support student engagement.

Key message – go slow & reflect! Avoid including activities created using GenAI or prompt-engineered images solely for the purpose of promoting your teaching material. Instead, focus on understanding the pedagogical relevance. The frameworks we will develop will serve as enablers to ensure this.

Conference attendance

Pedagogic presentations -

  • February 2024 - Invited speaker at the University of Birmingham’s Economics Education Seminar, talk titled - Don’t Erase, Elevate Your ‘Signature’ Style with AI
  • July 2023 - Presented at the Playful Learning Conference, workshop titled – Building Stories with Bricks: A Playful Learning Workshop on Storytelling with LSP
  • June 2023 - Invited speaker at the UK AI Summit, session titled – ‘ChatGPT Focus: Creating Educational Standards and Work Opportunities for Minorities’
  • April 2023 - Delivered CAITE Seminar on ‘Applying your ‘style’ pedagogy’
  • November 2022 - Invited speaker at the Warwick University Teaching & Learning Seminar Series, talk titled – ‘Your Style Pedagogy’
  • March 2022 - Invited speaker at the University of Manchester School of Social Sciences Teaching & Learning Seminar, talk titled – ‘Rethinking Your Pedagogy’

Presentations/ Invited Seminar on Teaching Practice - 

  • February 2024 - Presented at the DMU Teaching & Learning Conference, talk titled – ‘The role of pedagogy in harnessing the full potential of AI’
  • February 2024 - Delivered a session on effective use of Generative AI in designing and delivering economics teaching.
  • October 2023 - Delivered the Economics Network’s Graduate Teaching Assistant training workshop, University of Nottingham.
  • July 2023 - Presented at the Staffordshire University Teaching & Leaning Enhancement Conference on ‘How to prepare learners for an AI-powered future’
  • May 2023 - Panel Discussion on AI and the future of assessment in HE at the Centre for Academic Innovation and Teaching Excellence (CAITE) ‘Art of the Possible Mini Conference’
  • November 2022 - Invited and Delivered a seminar at the Staffordshire University ‘Teaching Innovation & Learning Enhancement’ Hub Webinar on varied form of pedagogical practice and curriculum designing
  • March 2022 - Invited and Delivered masterclass to Graduate Teaching Assistants at University of Manchester (School of Social Sciences) on enhancing teaching practices and delivering effective student learning

Research presentations –

  • October 2023 - Delivered the ‘Career World’ session for Global Alliance Public Relations ‘Student and Young Practitioner Month’ (Africa & Europe)
  • September 2023 - Presented at the Report (Humans needed, more than ever) launch – CIPR International’s Annual General Meeting
  • September 2021 - Attended the Developments in Economics Education Conference, Organised by the Economics Network, UK (1-3 September)
  • January 2020 - Report launch seminar at the Alan Turing Institute for CIPR research on ‘The Effects of Artificial Intelligence on the Professions: A Literature Repository’

Current research students

2020    ‘Towards a sustainable framework for the management of Transnational education TNE’ – Lawrence D’Souza

2021    ‘Customer experience in the era of Artificial Intelligence’ – Adib Rachkidi

2022    ‘The growing need for medical entrepreneurship: Should the Nigerian Medical Curriculum be re-designed to include Entrepreneurship Education?’ – Dr (MD) Oni Folake

2023    ‘Increasing Diversity within the Public Relations and Communications industry’ – Caroline Spence

Externally funded research grants information

2022 - Co-Investigator – ‘Engaging the Community in Designing a Smart City’ (External funding by the Alan Turing Institute).

2021 - Co-Investigator – ‘Measuring the impact of Medicspot GP consultations’, funded by the Willows Medical Centre, Leicester.

Internally funded research project information

2023-24 - Project Lead – Academic Innovation Project (De Montfort University) – ‘Enhance your subject specialism by embracing AI creatively’.

2023 - Co-Investigator – DMU HEIF Funding – work with stakeholders (East Midlands Chambers of Commerce, Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership, Leicester City Council) to investigate how users interact with data tools and draw correct inferences.

2020 - Co-Investigator - 'Developing and Introducing Digital Technology through IAESV Behavioural Economics lab using O-Tree and KAHOOT', faculty level pedagogical innovation funding.

2019 - Principal Investigator - 'Exploring the Impact of Lecture Capture', funded by the Institute of Applied Economics & Social Value.