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Prof Mike Seal

Director - Centre for Research into the Education of Marginalised Children and Young Adults (CREMCYA)
Course Lead - MA Education, International Development and Social Justice

About Research


Mike is the Director of the Centre for Research into the Education of Marginalised Children and Young Adults (CREMCYA) and Professor of Youth and Community Education. He is also the course lead for our Education, International Development and Social Justice MA.

Mark has been involved in the multiple disadvantage, homeless, youth, and community work fields for over 30 years. He has written extensively in these areas, but also on participatory research and co-production and the scholarship of pedagogy in higher education, specialising in critical and queer pedagogy. He has written:

  • 15 books
  • 22 book chapters
  • 13 peer reviewed journal articles
  • 30 other publications in these areas.

In terms of Educational Leadership, he is a National Teaching Fellow, a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, a qualified youth and community worker and was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts for his work on homelessness in 2009. He has designed and been programme manager for 13 programmes from level three to doctoral level in Community Leadership, Trade Union Education (postgraduate), Criminology, Youth and Community Work and Homelessness. He is currently supervising two PHDs. He has successfully supervised two PhDs and two EdDs to completion.

He has conducted over 40 funded pieces of research, 23 as Principal Investigator for the British Council, Erasmus +, the European Commission, UKRI, the Commonwealth, Health Authorities, and local and national governments worth £4.5 million. He has provided consultancy for over 65 agencies worldwide including in Belgium, Norway, Lithuania, Jamaica, India, Bangladesh, and Australia. He has led co-productive research projects with clients on:

  • probation
  • the prison service
  • drugs services
  • youth violence
  • Muslim participation in public life
  • multiple exclusion
  • entrenched rough sleeping
  • the experiences of BME, LGBTQ+, and disabled students at University.

He has undertaken 35 pieces of consultancy including knowledge exchanges and evaluations for a variety of bodies including health authorities, national and local authorities, NGOs, schools, and the European Commission.

Other responsibilities have included being:

  • the National Director of the Professional Association of Lecturers in Youth and Community Work (PALYCW)
  • Founder and Chair of Romero Freire Institute: Dialogue, Pedagogy and Practice
  • Co-Convener of the Youth Studies and informal Education (2022-present), Post Compulsory and Lifelong Learning (2020-2022), and Sexualities and Gender (2014-2016) Special Interest Groups of the British Educational Research Association.

He has organised and convened over 20 conferences and organised four seminar series. He has spoken at over 100 academic and professional conferences, including 15 keynotes in the UK and internationally. He was Co-convener of Social Work and Social Policy REF unit of assessment (Newman 2015-2020), with institutional responsibilities for Impact Case Studies and wad External Assessor at several Institutions. He was nominated for the 2021 REF panel main panel C and sub panel 20 by National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement and Impact.


Research profile

Latest Publications

  • Seal, M and Harris, P, (2023) Youth Work and Gangs in Andell, P & Pitts, J (2023) The Palgrave Handbook of UKGangs, London Palgrave.
  • Seal, M, (2022) Class, Race, Disability and Mental Health in Higher Education: Questioning the Access, Success and Progression of Disadvantaged Students, Bloomsbury Press, London and New York.
  • Seal, M and Smith, A, (2021) ‘The Contested Terrain of Critical Pedagogy and Teaching Informal Education in HigherEducation’ in Education Science Special Issue "Educating Informal Educators" Professor. Dr Pam Aldred and Dr Frances Howard (eds). 11(9), 476.

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