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Personal profile


James Underwood is a Principal Lecturer and is the ‘Subject Leader for Teachers’ Continuing Professional Development’. This means that he has oversight of all the masters’ courses in education at the University of Northampton as well as a range of other shorter courses at masters’ level. He leads and teaches on the MA Education and the MA Education Leadership and Management.

James taught for 19 years before becoming a lecturer here at the University of Northampton. The majority of this time was in the British state sector, in secondary schools. He was the vice-principal of a state secondary school (students aged 11-18) and subsequently of a private sixth form college (students aged 16-18). He completed his doctorate in education at the Faculty of Eduation, at the University of Cambridge. He also worked at the University of Cambridge as an associate lecturer, whilst still teaching in schools.

The title of James’ doctorate is: ‘Building communities and sharing knowledge: a study into teachers working together across national boundaries’. 

Research Interests

His research interests include: the nature of professional communities, non-positional leadership, methodologies for teacher research, and teaching approaches in higher education among others.


Abbie Deeming; Education, Children and Young People

Mental Health, Schools and Decision Making.

Teaching Interests

Programme lead: PG Cert Top-Up, MA Education, MA Education Leadership and Management

Modules that James Underwood leads on

  • EDUM074 –  International perspectives on education
  • EDUM079 – Thesis
  • EDUM089 – Principles and Practice in Action Research
  • EDUM092 – Investigating Professional Practice (1)
  • EDUM111 – Investigating Professional Practice (2)
  • EDUM118 – Leading Change
  • EDUM122 – Educational Leadership
  • EDUM123 – Perspectives on Leadership
  • EDUM124 – Approaches to Leadership
  • ITTM001 – PGCE top-up
  • ITTM002 – PGCE top-up (2)

Other modules that James Underwood teaches on

  • EDUM116 – School and Classroom Cultures
  • EDUM077 – Research Methods
  • EDUM079 – Dissertation

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Building communities and sharing knowledge: a study into teachers working together across national boundaries., University of Cambridge


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