Professor James Arthur OBE

Professor James Arthur

School of Education
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

James Arthur is Director of the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues

James is also Chair of the Society for Educational Studies, and was Head of the School of Education 2010-2015 and Deputy Pro-Vice Chancellor 2015-2019. He was previously Editor of the British Journal of Educational Studies for ten years and holds numerous honorary titles in the academe, including Honorary Professor of the University of Glasgow and Honorary Research Fellow in the University of Oxford. James was made an Officer of the British Empire by the Queen in 2018.     

He has written widely on the relationship between theory and practice in education, particularly the links between character, virtues, citizenship, religion and education. James established the Jubilee Centre in 2012, and the Centre has grown in size, scope, and impact since its launch at the House of Lords in May 2012.


  • 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.


Recent publications


Arthur, J 2021, A Christian Education in the Virtues: Character Formation and Human Flourishing. Routledge Research in Character and Virtue Education, 1 edn, Routledge, London.

Peterson, A, Arthur, J & Varghese, J 2021, Ethics and the good nurse: character in the professional domain. Character and Virtue Within the Professions, Routledge.

Arthur, J 2019, The Formation of Character in Education: From Aristotle to the 21st Century. 1st edn, Routledge, London.

Arthur, J (ed.) 2019, Virtues in the Public Sphere: Citizenship, Civic Friendship and Duty, 1st Edition. 1st edn, Routledge.

Arthur, J 2018, Policy Entrepreneurship in Education: Engagement, Influence and Impact. Routledge.


Arthur, J & Walker, D 2021, 'Assessing ethical reasoning among junior British army officers using the Army Intermediate Concept Measure (AICM)', Journal of Military Ethics, vol. 2021, no. 00, pp. 1-19.

Arthur, J 2020, 'Seeking the good in education through a positive conception of social justice', British Journal of Educational Studies.

Arthur, J 2019, 'Christianity and the character education movement 1897-1914', History of Education, vol. 48, no. 1, pp. 60-76 .

Arthur, J, Earl, S, Thompson, A & Ward, J 2019, 'The value of character-based judgement in the professional domain', Journal of Business Ethics.


Arthur, J & Harrison, T 2022, Service-Learning, character education and spiritualy in a Catholic University. in MB Isola & L Gherlone (eds), Spirituality and Higher Education: Perspectives from Service-Learning . 1st adapted edn, UNISERVITATE Collection, vol. 3, CLAYSS, pp. 135-153. <>

Commissioned report

Arthur, J, Moulin-Stozek, D, Metcalfe, J & Moller, F 2019, Religious Education Teachers and Character: Personal Beliefs and Professional Approaches. Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, University of Birmingham., Birmingham. <>

Arthur, J, Watts, P, Fullard, M & Moller, F 2018, Character Perspectives of Student Teachers: Initial Insights. University of Birmingham.

Arthur, J, Harrison, T & Taylor-Collins, E 2017, A Habit of Service: The factors that sustain service in young people. University of Birmingham. <>

Arthur, J, Thompson, A, Kristjansson, K, Moller, F, Ward, J & Rogerson, L 2017, Flourishing from the margins: Living a good life and developing purpose in marginalised young people. University of Birmingham, University of Birmingham. <>

Arthur, J, Harrison, T & Burn, E 2017, Schools of Virtue: Character education on three Birmingham schools. University of Birmingham. <>

View all publications in research portal