Barbara Murphy
Academic Coordinator for Education Studies
School of Social Sciences

Academic Coordinator for Education Studies

Barbara Murphy coordinates and teaches on undergraduate Education Studies. She is a firm believer in lifelong learning, with current research and publications in the area of widening participation. Although notably passionate about all areas of education, her first career was in biomedical science, and she specialized in medical microbiology. She subsequently worked in microbiology research until 1985, when she joined the teaching profession working in the primary sector and undertaking a variety of teaching, leadership and senior management roles. Barbara joined Bishop Grosseteste University in 1999. She has been a Fellow of the HEA since 2004 and was twice voted ‘lecturer of the year’, in 2013 and 2014, by the BGU student body.


Barbara’s teaching specialisms include the sociology of education, re– engaging the disengaged, and social and cultural influences on young people. Barbara is noted for her energetic, passionate and critically analytical perspectives of contemporary educational initiatives and issues.


Barbara’s research interests currently centre around the student journey, most especially the transitions that students make over the course of their studies.

Selected publications include:

Sharp, J.; Hemmings, B.; Kay ,R.; Murphy, B.; Elliott, S. (2016) Academic boredom among students in higher education: a mixed-methods exploration of characteristics, contributors and consequences. Journal of Further and Higher Education.

Murphy, B. (2009) Great Expectations? Progression and Achievement of Less Traditional Entrants to Higher Education. Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning. 11 (12). 5-13.

Book Chapters

Sharp, J. and Murphy, B., (2013) The mystery of Learning. In Sharp, J. (ed), (2013) Education Studies: an issues based approach. Birmingham. Learning Matters

Murphy, B. (2009) Disaffection, Society and Education. In: Warren, S. (ed) Education Studies: Course Companion to Themes and Contexts. London: Continuum.