Portrait of  Selina Copley Selina Copley

s.copley@hud.ac.uk | 01484 472728


Selina Copley is a Registered General Nurse by professional background and has twenty five years’ experience of health and criminal justice practice, leadership and teaching. She believes passionately in the importance of education and the application of theory and research for the development of excellence in real world practice. Before joining the University she worked in clinical practice as a healthcare manager at HMP Pentonville and HMP Belmarsh, leading forward the strategic development and modernisation of health services for prisoners. Her first degree is in Psychology with Politics and she has a Graduate Diploma in Forensic Psychology and a Master’s in Education.

She joined the University of Huddersfield in 2007 to work as a Senior Lecturer in Applied Criminology and taught a range of topics relating to criminal justice practice including forensic mental health. She was also involved in teaching social theory and professional development to probation police officers in partnership with West Yorkshire Police. She was Course Leader for Applied Criminology from 2009-2011 before moving to the BSc Criminology programme in 2012.

She is currently involved in undergraduate teaching and postgraduate supervision. Her areas of expertise relate to theory and practice within the Criminal Justice System, as well as criminological theory. Her main teaching and research interests are around forensic mental health, and the modernisation of professional practice through education and reflective practice. Her work also involves the development and delivery of the employability agenda, for which she is divisional lead. Her current PhD research explores the potential value of reflective practice for service delivery and professional development within the police service. She is also the author of Reflective Practice for Policing Students.

Research and Scholarship

University research group memberships

Member of the Teaching, Public Pedagogies and Professionalism Research Group, of the Applied Criminology Centre and the Centre for Research in the Social Sciences.

External research group memberships

  • British Psychological Society
  • British Society of Criminology
  • Howard League for Penal Reform

Research interests

Research work mostly located within a qualitative paradigm with interests that include:

  • The metal health of offenders
  • The effectiveness of forensic mental health service provision
  • Health inequalities amongst marginalised groups and offenders
  • Social exclusion and crime
  • The drug crime nexus
  • The effectiveness of substance misuse interventions for the treatment of offenders and the prevention of crime
  • Reflective practice for professional development and service delivery
  • The use of reflective practice for professional development within policing
  • The higher educational agenda, pedagogy and adult learning
  • Implementation of the employability agenda for work readiness

Research projects

Current research work explores the value of reflective practice via clinical supervision for the professional development of policing staff. Previous research used a case study approach to explore personal experiences of reflective activity for development and lifelong learning.


  • Fellow of the Higher Educational Academy
  • Chartered Psychologist
  • Member of the British Psychology
  • Member of the British Psychological Society
  • Panel member for the School Teaching and Learning Committee

Research Degree Supervision

Undergraduate and Master’s level research projects are invited on a range of topics including:

  • Mental health and service provision
  • Mental health and service provision within a forensic context
  • Substance misuse and service provision
  • Health inequalities and social exclusion
  • Learning and the student experience

Administrative Responsibilities

  • Course Leader BSc (Hons) Applied Criminology (2009-11)
  • Module Leader BSc (Hons) Criminology
  • Divisional Disability Coordinator
  • Panel member for the School Teaching and Learning Committee
  • Outreach Officer for Schools and Colleges

Teaching and Professional Activities

Module leaderships include:

  • Offenders and Mental Disorder

Previous module leaderships include:

  • Substance Misuse and Crime
  • Professional Practice and Research

Contributions to:

  • Criminology Final Year Project
  • Introduction to Criminology
  • Qualitative Research Methods
  • Introduction to Social Sciences