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Dr Jessica Pinchbeck

Profile summary

Professional biography

Jessica is a Senior Lecturer in Sport and Fitness at the Open University. She has worked as an academic at the university since October 2011. Prior to that she worked as an associate lecturer at the Open University and as a lecturer in sport and exercise science within the FE sector.

Jessica's specialist areas include the topics of youth sport participation, female sports participation and the influence of the family in sport. Jessica has completed her PhD investigating the socio-cultural influences on women's participation in club sport, including the role of the family.

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Research interests

Jessica's research interests lie within female sports participation across the lifespan, which also includes the influence of the family on sport particpation. Her PhD thesis investigated the sociocultural influences of women's participation in netball, including the role of the family during childhood and into adulthood.
Jessica’s work is designed to promote and raise awareness of the importance of the sociocultural factors that influence female sports participation and influence those involved in coaching female athletes in sport as well as educating parents on how they can support their child.  

Teaching interests

Jessica is the Programme Leader for Sport and Fitness and has been involved in the writing and development of all modules in the sport and fitness programme. A sample of Jessica's authoring includes:

E314 - Exploring Contemporary Issues in Sport and Exercise

  • Author of Study Topic 3b - Early Specialisation in Youth Sport: reviewing the evidence

E312 - Exploring Psychological Aspects of Athletic Development

  • Author of Study Topic 2 - Family Influences on Athletic Development

E235 - Sport and Exercise Psychology in Action 

  • Co-author of Study Topic 3 'Psychological issues in sport'

E236 - Applying Sport and Exercise Sciences to Coaching 

  • Author of Study Topic 5c 'Environmental Physiology: Pushing the limits'

217 - Sport and Conditioning Science into Practice

  • Author Study Topic 1 - Introduction to science and theory into practice

E117 - Introduction to Sport and Fitness

  • Author Study Topic 1 - Exploring Sport and Fitness

Jessica also holds various additional roles within the university including Academic Conduct Officer for Sport and Fitness and Student Voice and Wellbeing Ambassador for Sport and Fitness.

To find out more about the Sport and Fitness qualifications available at The Open University please click here.

Impact and engagement

Jessica disseminates her knowledge of sport and exercise sociology in ways that are designed to engage diverse communities and foster knowledge exchange. Examples of media used to disseminate such knowledge include:

Jessica has been an academic contributor to news articles:

External collaborations

Jessica has worked with the BBC as an academic consultant:

Jessica was the lead author working with the TES to produce a CPD course for primary school teachers to develop confidence in delivering the primary curriculum.


The impact of Online Forum Use on Student Retention in a Level 1 Distance Learning Module (2022-02)
Pinchbeck, Jessica and Heaney, Caroline
Athens Journal of Education, 9(1) (pp. 103-118)

Case report: the impact of a resubmission intervention on level 1 distance learning students (2017)
Pinchbeck, Jessica and Heaney, Caroline
Open Learning: The Journal of Open, Distance and e-learning, 32(3) (pp. 236-242)

The Family Behind the Athlete (2022)
Pinchbeck, Jessica
In: Heaney, Caroline; Kentzer, Nichola and Oakley, Ben eds. Athletic Development: A Psychological Perspective (pp. 141-162)
ISBN : 9781003153450, 9780367721022 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : New York