Portrait of Dr Martin Purcell Dr Martin Purcell

View research degree topics that Dr Martin Purcell might supervise

m.purcell@hud.ac.uk | 01484 478105


Qualifications: PhD, Med, PGDip (Community Education), PGCert (Higher Education), BSc (Hons)

Martin Purcell is a Senior Lecturer in Leadership & Management in the Department of Education & Community Studies.  He joined the University in September 2014, where he is Course Leader for the undergraduate Youth & Community Work programme of study.  Martin also teaches students from across the Department on modules relating to professional practice and leadership & management.

Martin gained his BSc in Applied Economics from UCNW, Bangor and his Diploma in Community Education from the Open University / Northern College, Dundee, where he was working as a Social Strategy Officer for the Regional Council, devising and delivering anti-poverty strategies in a number of different communities.  His MEd from Dundee University investigated community participation in evaluating regeneration programmes, drawing on his work at the time as a community capacity building Programme Manager in Calderdale.  Reflecting his twenty years practice in community development, Martin’s PhD from Leeds Metropolitan University explored the translation of professional values into practice in work promoting public participation in new local governance spaces, specifically Local Strategic Partnerships in the Yorkshire & Humber region.

In the three years before joining us, Martin lectured in Youth & Community Work at Manchester University and Manchester Metropolitan University.  As well as supporting students on placement, he led the teaching on public participation, professional values and policy.  Prior to this, Martin spent eight years at Leeds Metropolitan University, working as a researcher (ultimately as a Principal Research Fellow) in the Policy Research Institute and Carnegie Leaders in Learning Partnership.  Clients for whom Martin undertook research included third sector organisations, local authority, government departments (including DCLG, ODPM and DWP) and the National College for Leaders of Schools & Children’s Services and the Children’s Workforce Development Council.

Research and Scholarship

Martin is leading the response to cuts in local authority provision of youth work services implemented recently by Kirklees MC.  As an active member of a steering group comprised of concerned individuals from the sector, Martin is supporting the development and establishment of a collaborative body to oversee the planning and support for delivery of high quality youth work across the district, focussing in particular on the most disadvantaged and excluded communities and groups.  Martin has also been commissioned by Kirklees Community Learning Trust to undertake an evaluation of their new £500,000 community learning programme.  Martin recently completed work on a piece of co-produced research, training and evaluating the work of community and youth engagement practitioners working on implementing the PREVENT agenda in Kirklees.  Commissioned by Kirklees Council, and led by Professor Paul Thomas, this work culminated in a good practice sharing event at he School of Education & Professional Development in June 2017.

The current focus of Martin’s academic research is a development of his interest in the translation of professional values into practice.  Martin is keen to explore the way in which practitioners draw on their professional value-base to inform their work with young people and the wider community, and to identify the extent to which the political and organisational policies and frameworks facilitate / inhibit the translation of these values into practice.  In particular, Martin is exploring the extent to which practitioners are able to incorporate ‘professionally loving practice’ in their work with children and young people.

As a contract researcher of many years’ standing, Martin has experience in undertaking research into a wide range of areas, including leadership in public and third sector organisations, particularly those delivering services to children and young people.  He continues to develop his interest in public participation in decision-making, and has devised / applied models to evaluate the impact of this in relation to governance and service delivery.

As a contract researcher of many years’ standing, Martin has experience in undertaking research into a wide range of areas, including leadership in public and third sector organisations, particularly those delivering services to children and young people.  He continues to develop his interest in public participation in decision-making, and has devised / applied models to evaluate the impact of this in relation to governance and service delivery.

Publications and Other Research Outputs


Purcell, M., Page, J. and Reid, J. (2017) ‘'Professional Love' in A Time of Cholic: Innovative Application of a Practitioner Framework and Researching Abstract Concepts with Children & Young People’. In: BERA Annual Conference 2017, 5th-7th September 2017, University of Sussex

Thomas, P., Purcell, M. and Miah, S. (2017) The Kirklees Prevent Young Peoples’ Engagement Team: Insights and lessons from its first year Huddersfield: University of Huddersfield


Purcell, M (2016) ‘Love and Professionalism? An engagement with Jools Page on Professional Love in the Early Years’. In: BERA: Interrogating the boundaries of childhood studies and youth studies: Themes, debates and controversies in research and practice, 9th March 2016, University of Huddersfield, UK


Purcell, M (2015) ‘Public Participation in new Local Governance Spaces: the Case for Community Development in Local Strategic PartnershipsIAFOR Journal of Politics, Economics and Law , 2 (1), pp. 4-19. ISSN 2188-9562


Purcell, M (2014) ‘Public Participation in New Local Governance Spaces: The Case for Community Development in Local Strategic PartnershipsThe European Conference on Politics, Economics and Law 2014: Official Conference Proceedings , pp. 143-159. ISSN 2188-9694

South, J., Purcell, M., Branney, P., Gamsu, M. and White, J. (2014) ‘Rewarding altruism: Addressing the issue of payments for volunteers in public health initiativesSocial Science & Medicine , 104, pp. 80-87. ISSN 02779536


Percy-Smith, J., Clarke, J., Hawtin, M., Jassi, S., Purcell, M. and Wymer, P. (2010) Partnerships with Local Authorities and Health Agencies London, UK: Department for Work & Pensions



  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)

External Examiner:

  • University of Brighton:  BA (Hons) Youth Work
  • Glyndwr University, Wrexham: MA (Education) Youth & Community Work


  • Professional Association of Lecturers in Youth & Community Work (PALYCW)
  • British Educational Research Association (BERA)
  • International Association for Community Development (IACD)
  • National Coalition for Independent Action (NCIA)
  • Community Development Society (CDS)
  • In Defence of Youth Work (IDYW)

Journal Editorial Roles:

  • International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences (Associate Editor) Community Development: Journal of the CDS (Peer Reviewer)

Operational Associate Roles:

  • National College for Teaching & Leadership


  • UoM Teacher of the Year Nominee (2013)
  • Duke of York’s Community Initiative Winner (2003)
  • Mary Edmunds Williams Fellowship (University of Guelph, Canada) (1985-86)

Research Degree Supervision

Along with Professor James Avis, Martin is supervising a PhD research study, which is exploring the linkages between Freirian notions around praxis and post-humanist theory in relation to both co-created curriculum design and activism.

Martin is interested in supporting students whose research interests overlap with his own.  In particular, he is looking to supervise postgraduate research in the areas of community development, professional values and professional love.

Further information is available about Research Topics and Supervision within the School of Education and Professional Development.

Postgraduate research opportunities with Dr Martin Purcell





Teaching and Professional Activities

Module leader:

  • Foundations for Practice (first year YCW fieldwork-focused module)
  • Leadership & Management (third year undergraduate framework module)

Module Tutor:

  • Working In Communities
  • Advanced Professional Practice (second year Childhood Studies placement-focussed module)
  • Major Study (supervisor of third year undergraduate students’ dissertation research)
  • Dissertation (supervisor of Masters students’ dissertation research)

Trustee: Northorpe Hall Child & Family Trust (an independent local charity improving the emotional well-being of children, young people and their families in West Yorkshire)

Board Member:  Trust Wellbeing (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Northorpe Hall Trust, providing paid-for counselling and wellbeing services for adults)

Advisory Board Member: Conscious Youth CIC (a Huddersfield-based charity providing a range of youth work services for young people)

Steering Group Member: Kirklees Youth Services Review Group (establishing a collaborative body to oversee planning, funding and delivery of youth services in communities throughout Kirklees)

Committee Member: 36th Huddersfield (Oakes) Scout Group