Dr Jonathan Clark

Dr Jonathan Clark

Associate Head of School-Teaching and Learning

School of Law, Criminology and Government (Faculty of Business)


Associate Head of School (Teaching and Learning)

Lecturer in Sociology (Social and Political Thought)

Academic Coordinator for Peer Assisted Learning (PALS) in Sociology


My academic training is in sociology and philosophy. I hold a Bachelor of Arts (Double Major) in sociology and philosophy and a Master of Arts in sociology, each undertaken at Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada and completed my Ph.D. with the Department of Sociology at the University of Essex. My doctoral research explored Hannah Arendt's theory of social novelty and its significance for the social sciences. 

I completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practise (PGCAP) at the University of Plymouth and am a Fellow of The Higher Education Academy.

I have a Certificate for completing a Professional Development Course for External Examiners with AdvanceHE.

UPSU SSTAR Awards 2017: Faculty Winner (Business) for Most Innovative Use of Teaching Methods

UPSU SSTAR Awards 2016: Faculty Winner (Business) for Most Innovative Use of Teaching Methods

Professional membership

Fellow of The Higher Education Academy
Member of the Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities, Bard College
Member of the International Sociological Association (ISA)
Member of the ISA Research Committee on Sociological Theory
Member of the European Consortium of Political Research (ECPR)

Teaching interests

I am module leader for:

SOC3538: The Philosophy of Social Science
SOC3545: Social Theory and Political Action
SOC2518: Developments in Social Theory

I also teach on:
ADV715: Project Design for Research (MClinRes Clinical Research in the School of Health Professions)
LAW3244/LAW2229: Jurisprudence: Law, Society and Justice
MGL006: Introduction to Government and Society
SOC1513: Key Concepts and Skills for Sociology

I am a Fellow of The Higher Education Academy and am responsible for leading the School's Teaching and Learning strategy. In 2016 and 2017 I was the Faculty winner of the UPSU SSTAR Award for Most Innovative Use of Teaching Methods. 

Research interests

The political writings of Hannah Arendt; social and political theory; philosophy of social science; cultural studies and the media; critical discourse analysis; the discourses of regulation and professionalism.

Other research

Medical and Health Policy Research 

• Diverse Healthcare Providers
Currently I am part of a new team investigating the diversity of providers (including private firms, social enterprises, professional partnerships and voluntary groups) now offering services to NHS patients. Our particular interest is in establishing the differences between these organisational types in terms both of the way they manage and provide services and the outcomes for service quality, patient experience and innovation. The project is led by Professor Rod Sheaff and is funded by the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR).

• What is Revalidation: In Policy?
I have also contributed to research investigating the discursive meanings of medical Revalidation at the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry, Plymouth led by Dr. Julian Archer and funded by The Health Foundation. My specific remit was to investigate what Revalidation meant for policy (Stage 1 of the research programme) and involved organizing and conducting primary research using semi-structured interviews with elite medical leaders. Interviews were transcribed and coded using NVivo qualitative data management software and then analysed using critical discourse analysis.

Pedagogic Research

• Examination Feedback: An exploration of student and staff expectations, delivery formats and requirements.
During the academic year 2015-16, I will contribute to a TFAS funded pedagogic research investigation into the delivery formats, requirements and staff/student expectations for examination feedback. The research is co-led by Carole Sutton and Joanne Sellick and is strategically aligned to curriculum innovation at Plymouth University.

• Linking Social and Political Theory to Contemporary Art.
I was invited to participate during 2014/15 in a pedagogic research project investigating links between the teaching curriculum and contemporary art. During this project, I produced detailed learning booklets that my Stage 2 social theory students used to investigate two different art installations at the Peninsula Arts gallery. Students found the experience a good way to explore theoretical questions concerning representation and signification explored in the module. Furthermore, it was thought that the gallery provided an excellent environment for experiential learning--something much appreciated by students coming to terms with abstract theoretical knowledge. The experience was so positive that I plan to integrate experiential learning with contemporary art regularly into my teaching.

Archer, J., Regan de Bere, S., Nunn, S. Clark, J. & Corrigan, O. (2015) "'No One Has Yet Properly Articulated What We Are Trying to Achieve': A Discourse Analysis of Interviews With Revalidation Policy Leaders in the United Kingdom" in Academic Medicine 90(1):88-93. DOI: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000000464

"What is Revalidation: In Policy?" Research Report published September 2012 (Health Foundation funded), Julian Archer, Sam Regan de Bere, Suzanne Nunn, Jonathan Clark, Oonagh Corrigan. http://www1.plymouth.ac.uk/peninsula/research/camera/revalidation/Documents/Stage-One-Report.pdf

Clark, J., Archer, J., Corrigan, O.P., & Regan de Bere, S. ‘Revalidation as Mechanism for Professional Cultural Change? A Foucauldian analysis of the Purposes and Aims of the Proposed Policy for UK Medical Revalidation’.  Social Science Perspectives on Health Professions Education: an International Symposium, University of Toronto, May 2011.

Clark, J., Archer, J., Corrigan, O.P., & Regan de Bere, S. ‘What is at the heart of Revalidation?’. The Third Annual Academic Meeting of the Academy of Medical Educators, London, January 2011.

Clark, J. ‘Hannah Arendt: Methodological Considerations .’ Social and Political Thought Conference 2002, Centre for Social and Political Thought, University of Sussex.

Clark, J. ‘Breaking the Cycle: The Concept of Movement in the Work of Hannah Arendt’. MA thesis, 1997, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

Clark, J. ‘Fredric Jameson’s Postmodern Marxism’ Codgito, Volume 4, 1996.