Exploring the dimensions of change in the professions and the implications for education and training: an inter-disciplinary approach

Law School, Senior Common Room, University of Birmingham
Lectures Talks and Workshops
Wednesday 29th October 2014 (12:30-18:00)
Download the date to your calendar (.ics file)

Workshop Leader: Prof. Hilary Sommerlad, Prof. Mark Exworthy

The assumptions underpinning the global knowledge economy thesis which has dominated strategic thinking on the role of higher education would appear to assure the role of universities such as Birmingham in preparing their graduates to enter high status and well –rewarded professional roles.  However, much of the recent work in labour market analysis and the sociology of work unsettles these assumptions. 

Changes in public policy and market conditions in Health and Social Care, the Law and Education (among other parts of the public sectors) have disrupted established professional boundaries, and the relationship between private and public sectors at the same time that increasing participation in higher education has led to substantial changes in the socio-demographic composition of aspirant professionals. 

The specific aims of the workshop series are to identify scholars on professions across campus in order to establish a cross-university research network/consortium on professional transformation, which would in turn build research capacity in this area and enable the university to develop a strategy to work towards ESRC bids for seminar series and research project grants.  The first workshop on 11 June 2014 was a scoping exercise, exploring the range of interests of university participants, and developing the agenda for the network.


12.30  Lunch
13.15  Introduction
13.20  Panel A - 4 short presentations and discussion
14.40  Break
14.45  Panel B - 4 short presentations and discussion
15.45  Break
16.00  Panel C - 4 short presentations and discussion
17.00  Funding opportunities including internal funding schemes
17.30  Next steps: plans for further events in 2014-15
18.00  Close

The network so far:


  • Hilary Sommerlad
  • Jean McHale
  • Sheelagh McGuinness
  • Marie Fox
  • Richard Young
  • Steven Vaughan


  • George Dowswell
  • Sabi Redwood
  • Sheila Greenfield
  • Jayne Parry

Sport, exercise, rehab science

  • Kathy Armour


  • Simon Asquith
  • Deborah Youdell
  • Paul Warmington


  • Penelope Tuck
  • Ron Hodges
  • Joanne Duberley
  • Fiona Carmichael

Social work

  • Tarsem Singh Cooner
  • Barbara Fawcett
  • Rosemary Littlechild


  • Catherine Mangan
  • Chris Skelcher
  • Tony Bovaird

Social Policy

  • Kathryn Farrow


  • Pete Alcock
  • James Rees
  • John Mohan


  • Austin Barber


  • Mark Exworthy
  • Nicola Gale
  • Catherine Needham
  • Jon Glasby
  • Hilary Brown
  • Yvonne Sawbridge

Please contact Hilary Somerlad or Mark Exworthy if you would like to find out more or join the network.