Staff profile

Dr David Patton

Senior Lecturer in Criminology

David Patton through a camera lense whilst filming a MOOC for drug recovery




College of Business, Law and Social Sciences

Research centre

Better Society, Social, Cultural and Legal Research Centre




Derby Campus



I am a Senior Lecturer in Criminology and have been lecturing since 1998. I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. 

Teaching responsibilities

I teach the BSc Criminology programme and a number of MSc programmes across the Department of Social Sciences as well as supervising PhD and postgraduate and undergraduate research dissertations.

I have been nominated for numerous teaching awards by my students at all three universities I have worked for, including the Exceptional Contribution to Education Award, Lecturer of the Year award, and Inspirational teaching award among others.

I also contributed toward the Criminology team at UoD winning the Learning and Teaching Prize by the British Society of Criminology.

I possess two postgraduate teaching certificates.

Research interests

I am currently working on NIHR, ESRC and Big Lottery-funded projects exploring drug recovery. I have also conducted research for the Home Office, Cambridge University, local authorities and the third sector. The projects I have worked on have helped create drug legislation and informed government drug strategies. I have also been Director of a Home Office-funded Drugs Education Project at Sheffield Youth Justice Service and worked as a Life Coach for the Youth Justice Board to promote desistance and help young people reintegrate into education and employment. My research interests include using the often marginalised voices of those with lived experiences of crime and drug use to formulate utopian visions of how the criminal justice system and society can be radically transformed to promote human flourishing. So that, in time there will be little need to support those in desistance and drug recovery, as these have become largely relegated to history.

Membership of professional bodies


I am also an accredited interpersonal conflict mediator, an MBTI (Myers–Briggs Type Indicator) consultant, a Belbin Team Roles consultant and a life coach.

Recent conferences

Experience in industry

I have been involved in various projects aimed at young people and/or drugs. For example, I was Director of a Drugs Education Project based at Sheffield Youth Offending Team, aimed at drug prevention, reduction, crime reduction and harm minimisation among young offenders and school children. The project received £30,000 of Communities Against Drugs funding.

I have trained Community Panel Members to administer restorative justice sentences to young offenders who had received a Referral Order by the Youth Court. 

The Youth Justice Service recently commissioned me to deliver life coaching sessions to high-risk young offenders on a ten-week alternative-to-custody programme to help them consider their progression into further education, training and employment as well as reduce the frequency and gravity of their offending.

I was also heavily involved as a regular speaker for AimHigher, encouraging students from wider participation backgrounds to enter Higher Education.

Recent publications