Mark Farmer

Mark Farmer

Senior Lecturer - Applied Social Sciences

Department of Social Work and the Community

Contact Details

tel: 01905 54 2337

Mark worked in a range of roles prior to joining the university as a senior lecturer. His experience includes working as an adventure play worker, a detached youth worker, a centre based youth worker, a housing support worker, a youth inclusion worker, a project worker and a local authority youth officer. Mark is an advocate of work based and applied learning within higher education.

When arriving at the University of Worcester in 2004 Mark worked to established youth and community work training and education; initially developing and securing validation of a foundation degree in Young People Services. Mark later led on the development of the University's professional qualifying Youth and Community work course and held course leadership responsibilities until September 2015.

Mark is now working with other members of the course team to re-frame youth and community work practice for the contemporary workplace. The team is currently designing a new course offer to be titled BA (Hons) Communities and Young People Specialist which is due to launch in September 2017.


Mark has a professionally recognised youth work qualification
Certificate in Youth and Community Work (JNC) Birmingham University, Westhill.

Mark has a masters qualification from the University of Birmingham
Masters in Applied Community Studies Birmingham University.

Mark is currently undertaking a Professional Doctorate in Education at the University of Worcester.

Teaching & Research

Teaching Interests

Mark's teaching interests are motivated by a commitment to the values and principles of youth and community work, informal and non-formal learning and social justice. Mark is committed to supporting and developing future practitioners capable of working effectively with young people not only within institutions and organisations but also within the informal and non-formal spaces important to young peoples development and welfare.

Mark has led on the development of a number of courses since joining the university notably the BA (Hons) Youth and Community Work, the BA (Hons) Youth Justice and the BA (Hons) Applied Health & Social Science.

Marks teaching interests include youth and community work, service design and development, informal and non-formal learning, informal, social and political education. Mark also contributes to teaching in children's rights, team work and leadership and skills for practice with young people and communities.

Mark is a member of the School of Allied Health's Quality Committee and has served on the School's Learning and Teaching Committee.

Research Interests

Marks research interests include: curriculum design within applied professional programmes; the role of informal and non-formal learning; the personal, social, political and educational development of young people; the transitional and transformational experiences of professional practitioners entering higher education; and most recently research into young peoples experience of alternative provision in education. Mark is currently undertaking a Professional Doctorate in Education.

Professional Experience

Mark is a member and director of The Professional Association of Lecturers in Youth and Community Work and was Treasurer of the Association until July 2016.

Mark is a professionally qualified youth and community worker and a trained and qualified play worker.


Mark worked with Directors and Secretariat members of the Professional Association of Lecturers in Youth and Community Work to organise a number of day conferences across the UK in March 2016 titled 'Shaping the Future: Where now for Youth and Community Work?'

Mark is currently working with colleagues from The University of Worcester, The Aspire Academy and the New Schools Network to deliver a day conference in October 2016 titled 'Alternative Provision Free Schools: Celebrating Successes, Sharing Practice and Forming a Network'.

Working with colleagues Colin Wood and Dawn Goodall, Mark has recently had a paper published in the journal Research in Post-Compulsory Education.

Wood, C., Farmer, M.D. & Goodall, D. (2016) Changing professional identity in the transition from practitioner to lecturer in higher education: an interpretive phenomenological analysis, Research in Post-Compulsory Education, vol. 21, no. 3, pp. 229-245.

External Responsibilities

Mark is a Director of The Professional Association of Lecturers in Youth and Community Work.

Mark is a Governor of The Aspire Academy an Alternative Provision Free School.

Mark has undertaken a number of external duties which include acting as a course revalidation panel member for Teesside University and the Open University.