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Mr Stephen Paul Harrison

Profile summary

  • Regional Academic Staff
  • Staff Tutor, ECYS
  • Faculty of Wellbeing, Education & Language Studies
  • School of Education, Childhood, Youth and Sport
  • Regions & Nations (ECYS)
  • stephen.harrison

Professional biography

My professional background is in informal and community education, working with children, young people and adults in a wide variety of settings. I have worked as a Youth Worker in Bristol, London and Hong Kong and a Play Worker in Bristol and London (working with children through Save the Children on an all day visit scheme in Holloway Prison and with children from Gypsy and Traveler backgrounds via the London Gypsy Traveler Project). I have also worked extensively within the field of Drug Education and harm minimisation.

Since 1997 I have been predominantly involved in the the field of professional education, teaching and managing Undergraduate programmes leading to qualifications in Youth and Community Work across the UK and Ireland.

From 2016-2019 I was  Programme Lead for Childhood and Youth Studies (Undergraduate) at the Open Univerisity.

I am currently on secondment as a Staff Tutor within the School for Education Childhood, Youth and Sport.


Research interests

My research interests centre around work with Young People, 'informal learning', 'professional formation' and 'identity and the social dimension of learning'.

I am involved in a range of scholarship projects examing various dimensions of teaching and learning here at the Open univeristy.

I have recently contibuted as a central team memeber to the NP3 research project:




Teaching interests


I am currently a Staff Tutor and Lead Cluster Manager for E212 'Childhood and E809 'Frameworks for critical practice with children and young people'.


From 2016 - 2019 I was Programme Lead for Childhood and youth Studies (Undergraduate) which includes:

Q23 BA (Hons) Childhood and Youth Studies 

Q55 BA (Hons) Youth Work



External collaborations

I was the lead academic consultant for the Open University on the filming of 'Old School with the Hairy Bikers'. for more information click




Research Activity

Research groups

NameTypeParent Unit
Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET)CentreFaculty of Education and Language Studies


Real lives, imagined futures: stories of participation and progression through the Open University professional qualification in youth work (2012-10-31)
Golding, Tyrrell; Harrison, Roger and Harrison, Stephen
In : Developing Internships and Work Based Learning Opportunities for Mature Students: Creating Opportunities and Raising Aspirations (31 Oct 2012, Milton Keynes, UK)
NP3 – New Purposes, New Practices, New Pedagogy: Meta-analysis report (2017)
Twining, P.; Browne, N.; Murphy, P.; Hempel-Jorgensen, A.; Harrison, S. and Parmar, N.
Society for Educational Studies, London.


New nursing apprenticeship to boost healthcare in prisons

A new nursing apprenticeship is set to boost healthcare in prisons and support healthcare assistants to carve out careers in one of the most challenging and rewarding sectors of healthcare.

12th September 2019
See all

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