Paul H Smith

Dr Paul H Smith

Associate Head of School (Quality Enhancement and Student Experience)

Visiting address:

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Education/Academic qualification

  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of York

  • Master of Arts, University of York

  • Bachelor of Arts, University of York

Professional Qualifications

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, FHEA

  • Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice, PCAP

  • Postgraduate Certificate in Education, PGCE


Paul joined Leeds Trinity in 2016 as the Associate Head of School (Quality Enhancement and Student Experience). Prior to joining the University he held a number of roles at York St University including Associate Dean (Development), Head of External Relationships for the Faculty of Education & Theology and Head of Programme for Foundation Degrees in Education. In this time, Paul was addional REF Lead for Education. Prior to his work in higher education, he worked in a number of sixth-form colleges. His management experience included Head of Health and Social Care, Head of Sociology, College Learning Advisor, Student Manager (pastoral), Central ITE Mentor and Assistant/Head of School for Humanities.


Paul is primarily a sociologist of education. He is on the editorial board for Education Research and is a reviewer for Research into Post-Compulsory Education, Journal of Education for Teaching, Educational Review, Journal of Vocational Education & Training and the Higher Education Academy. Paul is also an active member of the Association for Research in Post-Compulsory Education and is a member of the College for School Leadership.


His PhD was awarded by the University of York. This research explored identity work amongst teaching assistants who were studying for a foundation degree. His external examiners were Professor Rachel Brooks (Head of Department for Sociology at the University of Surrey and Executive Editor of British Journal of Sociology of Education) and Professor Chris Kyriacou (Director of Research Programmes at the University of York). 

Research interests

Identity work and construction, the Sociology of Education, Vocational Education, Apprenticeships, Para-professionalism, student-parenthood

Teaching and Administration

 BA (Hons) Sociology

 Associate Head of School (Quality Enhancement and Student Experience)

Willingness to take PhD students