• Edinburgh

    United Kingdom


Research output per year

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Personal profile

Research interests


I graduated from the Heriot Watt University in the School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences (MACS) in 2009 with a first class honors degree in Information Systems.  I was awarded the Cooper Walker Engineering prize for outstanding computing work, the Andrew Stewart prize for most deserving student and I was a finalist for the young software engineer of Scotland award in 2010 .In 2010, I was awarded an internal MACS scholarship for PhD research to further my work on ‘collaborative picturing for system understanding’.  I graduated in 2013 with my PhD on Rich Picture Interpretation. During my PhD research work I was awarded the ‘problem structuring’ steam prize for outstanding contribution to the Operational Research Conference in 2012. I lectured in Information Systems in Edinburgh Napier University in 20I4 and presently teach in Computing Science as an Assistant Professor in MACS at Heriot Watt University.  I won the University's 'Learning and Teaching Oscar' for being a ‘guiding hand’ (most helpful and encouraging lecturer) in 2016.

I am a Fellow of HEA (Higher Educational Academy) and member of AIS (Association of Information Systems) and BCS (British Computer Society).  I regularly review and write articles for system and educational journals. I have most recently published a co-authored book on my research; Rich Pictures: encouraging resilient communities. I am actively involved in encouraging women into computer science and have coordinated many ‘girls into computing’ events in the Department of Computer Sciences at Heriot Watt.

I have published in international research journals and many pre-print versions of these papers are available for download on my Research Gate page at https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Tessa_Berg/publications.

 My research video can be seen here: https://youtu.be/ttBqOFF2HEE.

Other collaboration media clips regarding my research can be viewed here:

Current research interests

  • Problem structuring for information Systems
  • System design using visual methods of enquiry
  • Online privacy and security for autistic young people.
  • Developing a computing badge for girl guides Scotland
  • Collaborative pictures to aid understanding of  international student transition

Research students

I currently supervise 1 PhD student and 3 BSc students. I am happy to consider applications for self-funding or funded/sponsored students wishing to undertake PhD, MPhil or Masters by research projects in my area of research. Potential students interested in undertaking such research should email me in the first instance. 


I have undertaken a range of consultancy projects including delivery of rich picture training to industry, and system requirement evaluation. 


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Research Output

Computing degree apprenticeships: An opportunity to address gender imbalance in the IT sector?

Berg, T., Smith, S., Taylor-Smith, E., Fabian, K., Zarb, M., Paterson, J., Barr, M., Cutting, D. & Young, T., 30 Jun 2020, (Accepted/In press) 2020 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE). IEEE

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

  • Bridging the Digital Skills Gap Are computing degree apprenticeships the answer?

    Taylor-Smith, E., Smith, S., Fabian, K., Berg, T., Meharg, D. & Varey, A., 2 Jul 2019, ITiCSE '19 Proceedings of the 2019 ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education. Association for Computing Machinery, p. 126-132 7 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

    Open Access
  • 104 Downloads (Pure)

    Computing in the classroom: Learning Programming with educational robots

    Berg, T., Jan 2019.

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

  • Interpreting Rich Pictures using Content Analysis

    Berg, T., Coady, J. & Guion Akdağ, E., 14 Jan 2019, (Accepted/In press).

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

    Open Access
  • 26 Downloads (Pure)

    Towards an Understanding of Rich Picture Interpretation

    Bell, S., Berg, T. & Morse, S., Dec 2019, In : Systemic Practice and Action Research. 32, 6, p. 601-614 14 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 10 Downloads (Pure)


    Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

    Tessa Berg (Recipient), 2015

    Prize: Fellowship awarded competitively

    Teaching and Learning Award

    Tessa Berg (Recipient), 2016

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)


    • 2 Participation in conference
    • 1 Consultancy
    • 1 Hosting an academic visitor

    Implementing Inclusive Active Learning Spaces

    Tessa Berg (Consultant)
    1 Jan 20191 Jan 2020

    Activity: Consultancy

    Kathryn Seigfried-Spellar

    Tessa Berg (Host)
    25 Oct 2018

    Activity: Hosting a visitorHosting an academic visitor

    Horizons in STEM Higher Education Conference

    Tessa Berg (Member of programme committee)
    29 Jun 201730 Jun 2017

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

    Horizons in STEM Higher Education Conference

    Tessa Berg (Member of programme committee)

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference