Professor Kathleen Armour

Professor Kathleen Armour

Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education)

Contact details

University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

As Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education), Kathy is responsible for delivering the University's Strategic Plan for Education.  Kathy oversees all aspects of UG and PGT education, sits on the University's Executive Board and is Chair of the University Education Committee.  Kathy is also academic lead for the Higher Education Futures institute (HEFi).  This new institute has been designed to support the career-long development of our academic staff in learning and teaching, encourage innovation, and share good practice internally and externally.

Kathy trained and worked as a teacher in schools before moving into higher education. She gained a Master's degree from the Institute of Education in London in 1986, and a PhD in Education from the University of Southampton in 1993. In 1985, Kathy was appointed to Brunel University as a lecturer in teacher training. She moved to a senior lectureship in the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences at Loughborough University in 1999, and gained her Chair in 2008. Kathy joined the University of Birmingham in 2010, became Head of the newly created School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences in 2012, and was appointed as Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education) in 2016.

Kathy's research is in education and career-long professional learning, and she is particularly interested in bridging the gaps between theory/research and practice. In her most recent books, she has developed a new translational mechanism - 'pedagogical cases' - to support practitioner learning. She was a REF2014 panellist, a main panellist for the TEF subject pilots, is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, International Fellow of the National Academy of Kinesiology (USA) and, in 2016, was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Orebro University, Sweden for pedagogy research and leadership.


  • PhD (Southampton)
  • MA (Education) (Institute of Education, London)
  • B.Ed (London)


  • Career-long Professional development for teachers and coaches
  • Bridging theory/research/practice gaps
  • Pedagogical Cases

Research Grants

External funding worth over £2.5 million in the last fifteen years.  Research is in the field of Education with specific focus on supporting practitioners in physcial education, physical activity and youth sport.  Selected projects:

  1. South Korean Global Research Network (2017 -).  Physical education teachers' continuining professional development for facilitating positive youth development-orientated physciual education and school sport.  Co-I. £169,000.
  2. Wellcome Trust (2016 -).  Social media and its impact on adolescent health and wellbeing: A scoping study of the new ethical challenges.Co-I. £48,141.
  3. Society for Educational Studies (2015 -). "There's an app for that!"  An Exploratory Study into Digital Technologies and Health/Wellbeing Education in Schools. Co-I. £7384.
  4. The Youth Sport Trust (Charity, 2013 - 16).Sainsbury's Inclusive PE Teacher Training Programme: An Evaluation. Co-I. £44,984.
  5. The Football Association (Projects, 2010 - 14).Evaluation of the FAYCE programme.  Co-I. £30,000; The theory and practice of 'needs-led' CPD provision in the FA:  The RCDM Case Study.  PI. £15,000; an analysis of CPD provision for the football coaching workforce: A comparison with other professional fields.  PI. £15,000; Evaluation of the PCCE Coach Education Initiative (with Loughborough University).  PI. £30,000.
  6. Coca Cola Foundation (2011 - 13).  UK Partner in a project with 6 EU partners.  Active Lifestyles - Physical Literacy as a way to promote physical activity in inactive groups.  Co-I.  £400,000.
  7. AHRC Connected Communities Programme (2011).  An analysis of the capacity of volunteer sports coaches as community assets in the Big Society: a scoping review.  Co-I.  £24,000.  2011.
  8. DfES/PEAUK (2004 - 08).  Evaluation of the National PE-CPD Programme (England).  PI.  £112,546.
  9. Big Lottery Fund (2003 - 09).  National Evaluation of the NOF PE & Sport Initiative.  Co-I.  £998,853 plus £102,525 extension.
  10. HSBC (2003 - 08).  Evaluation of Youth Engagement Projects.  PI.  £197,540.
  11. DfES/Sport England (2003 - 09).  National Evaluation of the School Sport Co-ordinator Programme.  Co-I.  £726,801.
  12. YST/BSkyB (2003 - 09).  Reach for the Sky.  PI.  £238,501.
  13. ESRC (2001 - 03).  Continuing Professional Development: Provision for Physcial Education Teachers.  PI.  £81,426.

Other activities

  • Co-opted member of QUARSAC (HEFCE's Quality, Accountability and Regulation Strategic Advisory Committee).
  • Awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Orebro University, Sweden for pedagogy research and leadership.
  • Invited pedagogy expert and Chair of the Sport Sciences Grant Evaluation Panel, Academy of Science for Finland (2nd appointment).
  • Pedagogy expert panel member on REF 2014 Sub-Panel 26 (Sport & Exercise Sciences, Leisure & Tourism).
  • Awarded the title of 'Fellow' of the UK Academy of Social Sciences.
  • Appointed as an International Fellow of the National Academy of Kinesiology (USA Academy for the full range of Kinesiology disciplines).
  • Served until 2014 as vice president of AIESEP (global organisation for Education and Sport).
  • Supervised 10 PhD students to successful completion, with three ongoing.
  • Delivered numerous national and international invited keynote lectures, review panel members, journal reviewer, promotions commitees, external examiner etc.


Selected Publications


  1. Goodyear, V. & Armour, K.M. (Eds) (2019). Young People, Social Media and Health. Abingdon: Routledge.
  2. Cronin, C and Armour, K.M. (Eds). (2018) Care in Sport Coaching: Pedagogical Cases. Abingdon: Routledge.
  3. Casey, A., Goodyear, V., Armour, K.M. (Eds.). (2016). Pedagogical Cases: Digital Technologies in Physical Education and Youth Sport. London: Routledge.
  4. Armour, K.M. (Ed.). (2014). Pedagogical Cases in Physcial Education & Youth Sport. London: Routledge.
  5. Armour, K.M. & Macdonald D. (Eds.). (2012). Research Methods in Physical Education and Youth Sport. London: Routledge.
  6. Armour, K.M. (Ed.). (2011). Sport Pedagogy: An Introduction for Teaching and Coaching. London: Pearson.
  7. Dagkas, S and Armour K. (Eds.). (2011). Inclusion and Exclusion Through Youth Sport. London: Routledge.


  1. Goodyear, V. & Armour, K.M. (2021). Young People’s Health-related learning through social media: What do teachers need to know? Teaching and Teacher Education.
  2. Griffiths, M.A., Goodyear, V.A. & Armour, K.M. (2021): Massive open online courses (MOOCs) for professional development: meeting the needs and expectations of physical education teachers and youth sport coaches, Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, DOI: 10.1080/17408989.2021.1874901
  3. Armour, K.M. (2019). Leading and shaping new futures for higher education. Management in Education, 33, 4, 182–185. DOI: 10.1177/0892020619837890
  4. Goodyear, V.A., Armour, K.M. & Wood, H. (2019) Young people and their engagement with health-related social media: new perspectives, Sport, Education and Society, 24:7, 673-688, DOI: 10.1080/13573322.2017.1423464
  5. Cushion, C.J., Griffiths, M. & Armour, K.M. (2019) Professional coach educators in-situ: a social analysis of practice, Sport, Education and Society, 24:5, 533-546, DOI: 10.1080/13573322.2017.1411795
  6. Lee, O., Choi, E., Griffiths, M., Goodyear, V.A., & Armour, K.M. et al. (2019) Landscape of secondary physical education teachers’ professional development in South Korea, Sport, Education and Society, 24:6, 597-610, DOI: 10.1080/13573322.2019.1612348
  7. Goodyear, V.A., Armour, K.M. & Wood, H. (2019) Young people learning about health: the role of apps and wearable devices, Learning, Media and Technology, 44:2, 193-210, DOI: 10.1080/17439884.2019.1539011
  8. Goodyear, V., & Armour, K.M. (2018). Young People’s Perspectives on and Experiences of Health-Related Social Media, Apps, and Wearable Health Devices. Volume 7 Issue 8 10.3390/socsci7080137
  9. Griffiths, M., Armour, K.M. & Cushion, C.J. (2018). ‘Trying to get our message across’: successes and challenges in an evidence-based professional development programme for sport coaches, Sport, Education and Society, 23:3, 283-295, DOI: 10.1080/13573322.2016.1182014
  10. Goodyear, V.A., Armour, K.M. & Wood, H. (2018). The Impact of Social Media on Young People’s Health and Wellbeing: Evidence, Guidelines and Actions. Evidence, Guidelines and Actions. Project Report. University of Birmingham. 
  11. Cronin, C. & Armour, K.M. (2017) ‘Being’ in the coaching world: new insights on youth performance coaching from an interpretative phenomenological approach, Sport, Education and Society, 22:8, 919-931, DOI: 10.1080/13573322.2015.1108912
  12. Yoon, K. & Armour, K.M. (2017). Mapping physical education teachers' professional learning and impacts on pupil learning in a Community of Practice in South Korea. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 22, 4, 427-444.
  13. De Lyon, A., Neville, R. & Armour, K.M. (2017). A critical analysis of the role of fitness professionals as public health assets. Quest, 69, 3, 313-330.pupil
  14. Casey, A., Goodyear, V.A., & Armour, K.M. (2017). Rethinking the relationship between pedagogy, technology and learning in health and physical education. Sport, Education and Society, 22, 288-304.
  15. Armour, K.M., Quennerstedt, M., Chambers, F.C., & Makopoulou, K. (2017). 'What is effective CPD for contemporary physical education teachers: A Deweyan Framework.' Sport, Education and Society, 22, 7, 799-811.
  16. Griffiths, M., Armour, K.M. & Cushion, C. (2016). 'Trying to get our message across': successes and challenges in an evidence-based professional development programme for sport coaches' Sport, Education and Society.
  17. Cronin, C. & Armour, K.M. (2017). 'Being' in the coaching world: New insights on youth performance coaching from an interpretative phenomenological approach. Sport Education and Society, 22, 8, 919-931.
  18. Armour, K.M. & Chambers, F.C. (2014). Sport & Exercise Predagogy: the case for a new integrative sub-discipline in the field of Sport & Exercise Sciences/Kinesiology/Human Movement Sciences. Sport, Education and Society 19, 7, 855-868.
  19. Quennerstedt, M., Ohman, M. & Armour, K.M. (2014). Sport & exercise pedagogy and questions about learning. Sport Education & Society, 19, 7, 885-898.
  20. Griffiths, M. & Armour, K.M. (2014). Volunteer sports coaches as community assets? A realist review of the research evidence. International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics, 6, 3, 307-326.
  21. Cronin, C. & Armour, K.M. (2013). Lived experience and community sport coaching: a phenomenological investigation. Sport Education and Society, 20, 8, 959-975.
  22. Makopoulou, K. & Armour, K.M. (2014). Possibilities and challenges in teachers' collegial learning. Educational Review, 66, 1, 75-95.
  23. Armour, K.M. & Harris, J.P. (2013). Making the case for developing new 'PE-for-Health' Pedagogies. Quest, 65, 2, 201-219.
  24. Armour, K.M. & Sandford, R (2013). Positive Youth Development through a Physical Activity/Sport Programme: Evidence Programme'. Teaching and Teacher Education, 28, 3, 336-346.
  25. Armour, K.M. & Makopoulou, K. (2012). 'Great Expectations: Teacher Learning in a National Professional Development Programme, Teaching and Teacher Education, 28, 3, 336-346.
  26. Chambers, F.C., Armour, K.M., Luttrell, S., Bleakley, W., Brennan, D, & Herold, F. (2012). Mentoring as a profession-building process in a physical education teacher education. Irish Education Studies. 31, 3, 45-362.
  27. Chambers, F.C. & Armour, K.M. (2012). School-university partnerships and physical education teacher education student learning: A fruitful division of labour? European Physical Education Review, 18, 2, 159-181.
  28. Armour, K.M., Sandford, R. & Duncombe, R. (2012). Positive Youth Development and Physical Activity/Sport Interventions: Mechanisms leading to Sustained Impact. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 18, 3, 1-26.
  29. Armour, K.M., Makopoulou, K. & Chambers, F.C. (2012). Progression in PE Teachers' Career-Long Professional Learning: Conceptual and Practical Concerns. European Physical Education Review, 18, 62-77.
  30. Griffiths, M. & Armour, K.M. (2012). Mentoring as a formalised learning strategy with community sports volunteers. Mentoring and Tutoring, 20, 1, 149-171.
  31. Griffiths, M. & Armour, K.M. (2012). Physical Education and Youth Sport in England: Conceptual and Practical Foundations for an Olympic Legacy. International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics, 5, 2, 213-227.
  32. Armour, K.M. & Duncombe, R.(2011). Changing Lives? Critical Evaluation of a School-based Athlete Role Model Intervention. Sport, Education & Society, 17, 3, 381-403.
  33. Makopoulou, K. & Armour, K.M. (2011). Physical Education Teachers' Career-Long Professional Learning: Getting Personal. Sport, Education and Society. 16, 5, 571-591.
  34. Chambers, F.C. & Armour, K.M. (2011). Do as we do and not as we say: Teacher educators supporting student teachers to learn on teaching practice. Sport Education and Society, 16, 4, 527-544.
  35. Makopoulou, K. & Armour, K.M. (2011). Teachers' Professional Learning in a European Learning Society: The Case of Physical Education. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 16, 4, 417-433.
  36. Sandford, R., Armour, K.M., & Stanton, D.J. (2010). Volunteer mentors as informal educators in a youth physical activity programme. Mentoring and Tutoring: Partnerships in Learning. 18,2, 135-153.
  37. Armour, K.M. (2010). The physical education profession and its professional responsibility ... or ...why '12 weeks paid holiday' will never be enough. Physical Education & Sport Pedagogy. 15, 1, 1-14.

Between 1997 and 2015, a further 25 peer reviewed journal papers, 3 books and 18 book chapters were published. In addition, 48 reports were completed for research funders, and 88 peer-reviewed conference papers presented.