Staff profile

Tim Howell

Senior Lecturer

A head shot of Tim Howell


Health, Social, and Community Work


College of Health, Psychology and Social Care


School of Allied Health and Social Care


Kedleston Road, Derby Campus



I have extensive experience in formal and informal education, for over twenty years, as a youth and community worker, teacher, trainer, lecturer and outdoor education practitioner.

My areas of interest which I bring to the University are social media, challenging behaviour, sexual health, management, outdoor education and inter-professional learning.

I am the pathway leader for the outdoor learning pathway for the Youth Work and Community Development degree.

I have college-wide responsibility for the Inter-Professional Learning of the 3000+ students in the College of Health and Social Care and am Admissions Tutor for the programme. This is delivered through the IPL Forum which I chair, made up of students and academics from across the College of Health and Social Care.

Teaching responsibilities

I teach on the BA (Hons) Youth Work and Community Development degree.

This includes module leader for the first year module, 'Community Development' and the second year module, 'Research, Change and Impact'. As personal academic tutor, I also support the preparation for practice including self management and broader management skills. I am Independent Study supervisor for final year students completing their 'Independent Study / Emerging Issues in Practice'.I teach Harvard referencing across the Discipline area.

Outside of the classroom, I am admissions Tutor and support the training of Subject Specialist Mentors from the students, and support outreach work in local schools and colleges, promoting University study, preparing for UCAS and taster sessions to help candidates reflect on the range of careers and opportunities making a difference, working with people, especially young people and their families. I also coordinate the selection and recruitment onto the programme through direct applicants and UCAS.

I share the College lead for Interprofessional Learning, supporting the delivering of a comprehensive offer of learning together for 3000 students at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. This includes online training, case study case conferences, world cafe to explore the expereince of service users (see blog below) and final year leadership workshops. This is enabled through the IPL Forum, a collaboration between staff and students in the college.

Professional interests

I am passionate about making a difference for young people in our local community and beyond. As such I am at the forefront ensuring the University of Derby is a key agent of social change nationally.

I am an elected Director on the Professional Association of Lecturers in Youth and Community (PALYCW) Work and have been working hard to prepare the sector for a statutory youth service and the diverse range of opportunities available working with young people professionally in multi-professional spaces. On behalf of PALYCW, I annually contribute to professionally qualifiying revalidation of University programmes so other institutions can learn from the successes of Derby. I am also contributed to the Standards Council Scotland who were awarded the contract to re-write the National Occupational Standards for youth work, so that they are fit for purpose for the growing vibrant sector of professional youth work making a difference working alongside young people. I currently support the Midlands Youth Work Network for youth work lecturers and educators, and help plan the association annual confeference. 



Research interests

My passion is working with seldom heard or hard to reach young people, enabling personal and community transformation. As such my research interests are around using outdoor education as a tool to work with young people exhibiting challenging behaviour, particularly in alternative education contexts.

I am currently working on publishing a paper, promoting the University of Derby approach to Inter-Professional Learning which is collaborative in design, with students and academics working together co-creating the learning opportunities, chiefly through a participatory theatre-based conference.

Membership of professional bodies



Recent conferences

I spoke at Wrexham Glyndwr Univeersity at the Professional Association of Lecturers in Youth and Community Annual Conference, regarding student wellbeing and the emergency of youth work lecturers 'youth working' students.

I spoke at University of Hull at a PALYCW Conference regarding the multi-professional youth work approach of University of Derby and how the university is bucking the trend nationally as a growing region of youth work opportunities.

I spoke at the University of Derby Teaching and Learning conference about resilience and partnership with student wellbeing.



Experience in industry

I have extensive experience in the formal and informal education of young people for over twenty years, as a youth and community worker, teacher, trainer, lecturer and outdoor activity practitioner.

I have over fifteen years of youth work experience in the voluntary, statutory and commercial sector, including eight years experience as a youth work manager, managing projects, people and resources. I have worked in a huge range of contexts of delivery and organisation including youth clubs, schools work, health work, safeguarding work, outreach and detached work, adventurous activities, participation, faith based work, special interest groups including skate parks, off road motorbikes, sport, music production and arts, mentoring, information advice and guidance and more. I have worked for train companies, town councils, unitary authorities, schools, charities and other voluntary groups. I am particularly experienced in working with young people exhibiting challenging behaviour.

I have over four years full time experience in outdoors education working as a sessional instructor and manager. This included gaining Basic Expedition Leadership Award Level 3, BCU Foundation Safety and Rescue Trained, paddlesport 2 star and level 1 coach, and NICAS Indoor Rock Climbing Level 2, and Summer Mountain Leader. I am Climbing Wall Award trained, pending assessment. I am a qualified DofE assessor for all expeditions.

I was at the forefront of the first local authroities to use social media when working with young people and developed policy in this area (contributing to his research interest in social media).

Additional interests and activities

In my spare time, I am an Eagle Award judge for the local amateur theatre.

There is a vibrant local sector of high quality amateur dramatics, supported by the University of Derby, Derby Theatre. I has a passion for the arts and have integrated dram into the Inter-Professional Learning. 

I am a supporter of ALLIES - The LGBT+ Staff network. 



In the media

I have produced the following blogs about my work:




Recent publications

I have co-authored the following publications:

Managing managerialism written with Jake Hampson, a third-year student.

Youth Service Proposal - building on Surestart written with Naomi Robinson, a third-year student.

A young woman speaking passionately at a conference

Inter-Professional Learning (IPL) co-lead Tim Howell, Senior Lecturer in Youth Work, gives an insight of what the IPL can give to our students.

White pool ball on a blue pool table

Tim Howell details how the Derby approach to youth work training prepares students for a long and successful career working alongside young people and helping them to design a life that works in a diverse range of contexts.