Professor James Arthur

Professor James Arthur

School of Education
Deputy Pro Vice Chancellor (Staffing)
Director of the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues

Contact details

The Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues
School of Education
12th Floor (West) Muirhead Tower
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston, Birmingham
B15 2TT, United Kingdom

Professor James Arthur is Deputy Pro Vice Chancellor (Staffing) and Director of the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues.  

He has written widely on the relationship between theory and practice in education, particularly the links between communitarianism, social virtues, citizenship, religion and education.


  • D.Phil (1992) University of Oxford

  • MSc (1989) University of Oxford

  • BA (1979) University of Birmingham


Postgraduate supervision

Professor James Arthur is a world leading expert on the character and values of young people and is Director of the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, a pioneering interdisciplinary research centre focussing on character, virtues and values in the interest of human flourishing (see more at He has directed and completed the largest UK-based study into issues surrounding character development, looking at over 70,000 responses from young people aged 3-25. He supervises doctoral students in virtue, citizenship and character education.


His major research activities currently involve the aspirations and character formation of young people. As well as being Director of the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, he is also Chair of the Society for Education Studies. 

Knowledge exchange and impact

He has produced a series of major research reports on citizenship and character education which have fed directly into policy decision making at national government level.

He was part of the University of Birmingham Heroes campaign to raise awareness regarding some of the current research that continue to address today’s key national and global challenges. James Arthur is one of the featured academic experts from the University.


Selected publications

Academic Journal Articles

Arthur, J. (2016) The Idea of the ‘Civic University’, British Journal of Educational Studies.

Arthur, J. (2016) Convergence on Policy Goals: Character Education in East Asia and England, Journal of International Comparative Education, vol. 5, no. 2, [Online].

Arthur, J., Harrison, T. and Davison, I. (2015) Levels of virtue literacy in Catholic, Church of England and non-faith schools in England: a research report, International Studies in Catholic Education, Vol. 7, No. 2, p. 178-200.

Arthur, J. (2015) Extremism and neo-liberal education policy: a contextual critique of the Trojan Horse affair in Birmingham schools, British Journal of Educational Studies, Vol. 63, No. 3, p. 311-328.


Arthur, J. (2017) Policy Entrepreneurship in Education: Engagement, Influence and Impact, Abingdon: Routledge.

Arthur, J., Kristjánsson, K., Harrison, T., Sanderse, W. and Wright, D. (2016) Teaching Character and Virtue in Schools, Abingdon: Routledge.

Chapters in Books

Arthur, J. (2017) Secular Education and Religion, in The Oxford Handbook of Secularism, Oxford University Press, Oxford. 

Edited Books

Carr, D., Arthur, J. and Kristjánsson, K. (Eds.) (2017) Varieties of Virtue Ethics, London: Palgrave Macmillan UK.