Dr Annette Coburn


Rm 220 Almada Building, Hamilton Campus
Tel 01698 283100
Annette Coburn


Following a 23 year career in Community Education, specialising in youth work and youth policy development and including specific responsibility for community regeneration and health improvement projects, Annette worked at the University of Strathclyde for a period of 9 years, where she was convenor of the Faculty of Education Teaching and Learning Quality Improvement Committee (TALQIC) and member of the Faculty of Sports and Health ethics committee. She also undertook eight externally commissioned research projects including an evaluation of a young people’s sexual health programme, a two-year study on community well-being and an evaluation of youth participation in the east end of Glasgow. Annette has developed a range of CPD and Knowledge Exchange activities in areas such as detached youth work, cultural planning and reflective practice and her PhD thesis examined how young people learn about equality in youth work.
Since coming to UWS in Sept. 2012, Annette has joined the Institute of Youth and Community Research and has completed a study on independent care-giving (with David Wallace) and an evaluation of ‘The Street’ urban simulation and its youth work response to young people’s experiences of the street (with Johanne Miller). She is currently researching in the area of grassroots support for vulnerable families (also with David Wallace) and the negotiated nature of relationships and boundaries in youth work (with Sinead Gormally).

  • Qualifications
    1st degree(s): (Type)(Title), (Institution) (Year)
    Diploma in Youth and Community Work (Community Education), Jordanhill College of Education (1980)  Higher degree(s): (Type)(Title), (Institution) (Year)
    MSc in Advanced Professional Studies, It’s Different for Girls: young women’s participation in physical fitness activity, University of Strathclyde, (2005).
    PhD in Education, Learning About Equality: a study of a generic youth work setting University of Strathclyde (2013) Other (professional or PGCert etc.): (Type)(Title), (Institution) (Year)
    Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (Since 2006)
  • Teaching Interests
    Annette’s teaching interests are grounded in two core areas. The first reflects her interests in youth and community work as a means of developing increased equality and social justice and is present in her passion for teaching youth work methodologies and critical pedagogies as a means of facilitating social change. The second area of teaching interest reflects a commitment to supporting human flourishing and enhancing personal and community well-being and is present in her teaching interests in positive psychology and group work. 
  • Research Interests
    In addition to current research projects identified in her biography, Annette is also working on collaborative research proposals to take forward studies in two main areas: the impact of volunteering on communities and the development and application of youth work methodologies in community and school settings.

    Annette’s research interests are framed by examination of how critical, psycho-social and cultural perspectives contribute to understanding and transformation of communities and in particular, young people’s lives. Reflecting and informing her teaching interests, Annette’s research draws on qualitative, case study and ethnographic methodologies to consider theory, practice and policy on community based education and development. 
  • Research activity output book
    Coburn, A. and Wallace, D. 2011, Youth Work in Communities and Schools. Edinburgh, Dunedin Press 
  • Research activity output chapters
    Coburn, A. and McGinley, B., 2011, Crossing Borders: Reflections on Scotland’s Experimental Youth Centre In Jeffs,T. and Spence, J. (2011) Reflecting on the Past: Essays in the History of Youth and Community Work Lyme Regis, Russell House Publishing

    Coburn, A. (2010) Youth work as border pedagogy. In Batsleer, J. and Davies, B. (2010) What is Youth Work? Exeter, Learning Matters 
  • Research activity output journals
    Gormally, S. & Coburn, A., 2013, Finding Nexus: connecting youth work and
    research practices. British Educational Research Journal (online first)
    Finlay, I., Sheridan, M., Coburn, A. & Soltysek, R., 2013, Rapid Response Research: Using Creative Arts Methods to Research the Lives of Disengaged Young People. Journal of Research in Post Compulsory Education. (18: 1 -2) 127 - 142
    Coburn A., 2011, Liberation or Containment: Paradoxes in youth work as a catalyst for powerful learning. Journal of Youth and Policy (106) 60 - 77

    Coburn, A., 2011, Building social and cultural capital: through learning about equality in youth work. Journal of Youth Studies 14 (4) 475- 491

    Coburn A., 2010, After five years you get bored with badminton: Young women's conversations about participating in physical fitness activity. Journal of Youth Work (4)

    Coburn, A., 2008, Policy, politics, and practice: work with young people Reclaiming Social Purpose in Community Education: The Edinburgh Papers Edinburgh: Edinburgh University

    Coburn, A., McGinley, B. & McNally, C., 2007, Peer Education: Individual learning or service delivery? Journal of Youth & Policy No.94, Winter 2007.

    Coburn, A. & Wallace, D., 2003, Space, the final frontier: An exploration of territoriality and young people Scottish Youth Issues Journal (5) 73 -92 
  • Research activity output conference presentations
    ‘Building blocks to alternative discourse: salutogenic relationships in youth work’ (with Sinead gormally). TAG Conference, National University of Ireland, 2013.
    Learning about equality: negotiating boundaries in generic youth work, 2013, New Agendas on Youth and Young Adulthood: Youth Studies Conference, University of Glasgow.
    Well-being in community development: personal, professional and educational perspectives from practice. 5th European Conference of Positive Psychology, Copenhagen, June 2010. 
  • Membership of Research Groups / Centres / Institutes
    Institute of Youth and Community Research, UWS
    Youth Work and Youth Studies, SIG, British Educational Research Association
    European Positive Psychology Network
    Founding Board Member, Werklund Centre for Youth Leadership in Education, University of Calgary 
  • Consultancy Project Details
    (Company Name) (Project Title)(Project Description Text / Summary paragraph or bullet points)
    Healthy Valleys. Caring Together: New Horizons for Independent Carers and Informal Care-giving in Clydesdale. Evaluation report (2012, £10k)
    Clydebank Women’s Aid. Providing Support and Preventing Isolation. An evaluation of CWA Young People’s Service (2011, £8,100)

    Fablevision/ESF. An Introduction to Cultural Planning. Evaluation report and project development (2009, £3k)
    Fairbridge, Glasgow Tackling Sexual Health Inequalities: An evaluation of the Love Stings programme, 2007 -2009. Evaluation report (2009, £5k)
    South Lanarkshire Community Planning Partnership. Measuring and valuing Community Health and Well-being. A two year investigation of partnership perspectives, incorporating an evaluation of three funded projects (2007, £10k)

    Healthy Valleys. Healthy Valleys: reversing decline in Eight Rural Commuities. Evaluation Report (2007, £5k)

    Inverclyde Council/Scottish Government Capacity Building Fund. Speak-up Inverclyde: Including young people in planning, development and delivery of services. A two-year research, consultation and planning collaboration on youth participation process in Inverclyde (2007, £18,700)
    East End Social Inclusion Partnership. Youth Participation in the East-End of Glasgow. Evaluation report (2003, £20k)