Melanie Joyner

Melanie Joyner

Director of Student Services

Student Services


I am the Director of Student Services for Plymouth University, with executive responsibilities for leading the student services (including Careers & Employability, Complaints & Appeals, Learning Support & Wellbeing and the student-facing elements of Residence Life) and enhancing the student experience responding flexibly to the student journey. My role includes working with the Faculties, Teaching and Learning Support and other central services to ensure a joined-up approach that aligns the academic and student experience "offer" of the University, liaising with the Student Union to ensure that the student voice informs and influences policy development, and driving the University's employability agenda.  My current areas of strategic focus also include personal tutoring, promoting diversity and inclusion, digital literacy, community engagement, and the implementation of the Prevent agenda.

My previous roles within the University include Joint Social Sciences Scheme Coordinator, and Associate Dean (Teaching and Learning), initially for the Faculty of Social Science and Business and subsequently for the Faculty of Health and Human Sciences.  I am a strong proponent of working in partnership with colleagues delivering higher education within further education and transnational education working with overseas providers.

With a background in political science, I consider myself to be a social science academic, with specialisations in public policy and administration and in quantitative research methods.  My current teaching includes contributing to the undergraduate Sociology, Criminology and Criminal Justice Studies and Nursing programmes.  My scholarly interests include new media studies, information and digital literacy, and transformative pedagogy.  



BA (Hons.) Political Science and History (Intern), Wilfrid Laurier Univeristy, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada 1986.

MA Political Science, York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada 1990.

Roles on external bodies

·       National Advisory Panel, Student Relaunch Service
·       Advisory Panel, Greenwich School of Management

Teaching interests

  • Research methods and quantitative analysis
  • New media and society
  • Interpersonal violence
  • Public policy and administration
  • Equality, diversity, inclusion and human rights
  • Comparative social and public policy
  • Information and digital literacy
  • Study skills and critical reasoning

Staff serving as external examiners

Social Policy, Anglia Ruskin University

Research interests

  • Identity, social stratification and student attainment
  • student support and inclusion
  • information and digital literacy
  • workforce development and CPD

Research groups

  • Cultural Industries
  • Social and Public Policy

Publications, Reports and Conference Papers

Cotton, D., Joyner, M. and George, R. (forthcoming), (--) “Exploring the BME Student Experience at a Regional University” Higher Education Research and Development

Parker-Rees, R., Haynes, J. and Joyner, M. (2012) Developing Sustainable Student Communities: Informal Learning and 'Becoming Peer', Society for Research into Higher Education Conference 2012. Newport, Wales, December 12-14 (peer review).

Reynolds, J. and Joyner, M. (2012).  “Social Enterprise Education: Transformative Learning for Innovation”, International Enterprise Educators Conference 2012: Power Through Partnership.  Plymouth University, 12 – 14 September (peer review).

Cotton, D. and Joyner, M. (2012).  “The Gender and Ethnicity Attainment Gap in HE: Using Research to Enhance Teaching and Learning”, International Consortium for Educational Development Conference 2012: Across the Globe Higher Education Teaching and Learning.  Bangkok, Thailand, 23 – 25 July (peer review).

Waterfield, J., Joyner, M. and Fitzgerald, V. (2011) “Transformation Versus Assimilation: Real Inclusive Practice in Higher Education”, Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Annual Conference 15-18 June, University of Saskatoon, Canada.  (peer review).

Gomez, S., Joyner, M., Southern, R., Arzenton, V. & Strickland, M. (2010) “Taking Stock of the Market for Flexible Postgraduate Accredited CPD”, UVAC Annual Future Agenda for Higher Level Skills and Work-Based Learning Conference 11-12 November, York.

Joyner, M. & Millican, H. (2009) “Production of a Flexible ‘Shell’ Framework for a Professional Development Degree to Meet the Needs of Accredited CPD activity”, UVAC Annual Future Agenda for Higher Level Skills and Work-Based Learning Conference 5-6 November 2009, York.

Joyner, M. and Waterfield, J. (2007) “Including Mental Health: The Governance of Multidisciplinary Student Support Work”, Third Annual Personal Tutoring and Academic Advising Conference: An International Perspective.  Higher Education Academy/National Academic Advising Association Joint Conference, University of Edinburgh. (peer review)

Joyner, M.  (2006) “Encounters with Extremism: Information Literacy and the Management of Risk in the Wired Curriculum”, Society for Research in Higher Education Annual Conference, Brighton. (peer review)

Stokes, A; Davis, L.; Joyner, M. and Reid, F. (2004) “A Reasoned Approach to Assessment:  A Web-based Resource for Module Leaders”, PLAT 2004, LTSN Psychology, University of Strathclyde.

Joyner, M. (2002) “‘Social Policy and the Internet’:  Web-based Learning Strategies for the Social Sciences”.  Electronic Supported Learning Best Practice.  Learning and Teaching Support Network.  University of the West of England, Bristol

Joyner, M. (2000) “Conceptual Struggles And Policy Complexities:  Family Abuse Research In A Cross-National Context”, New Global Development:  Journal of International and Comparative Social Welfare, 16, 94-101 (peer review).

Joyner, M. (2000) “Surfing the Crime Net:  Cybercrime”.  Crime Prevention and Community Safety:  An International Journal, 2:4.

Joyner, M. (2000) Surfing the Crime Net:  Probation and the Risk Society.  Crime Prevention and Community Safety:  An International Journal, 2:2.

Joyner, M. (2000) “Bullying and the Sociology of 'Risk'.  Victimization of Children and Youth:  An International Research Conference.  University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH, USA.

Hyde, M, Dixon, J and Joyner, M. (1999) "Work For Those That Can, Security For Those That Cannot":  The United Kingdom's New Social Security Reform Agenda.  International Social Security Review, 52, 69-86 (peer review).

Joyner, M. (1999) “Surfing the Crime Net:  Teaching Restorative Justice”.  Crime Prevention and Community Safety:  An International Journal, 1:4.

Joyner, M. (1999) “Surfing the Crime Net:  Domestic Violence”.  Crime Prevention and Community Safety:  An International Journal, 1:2, 51-58.

Joyner, M. (1998)  “Building Gendered Identities in Cyberspace:  Web Pages as Reflection of 'Woman'”, Working at Being Women:  Women in the Community Conference, University College, Scarborough (peer review).

Joyner, M. (1998)  “Judicial Review in Social Policy:  Regulatory Regimes and the New Research Agenda”, Social Policy Association Annual Conference, University of Lincolnshire and Humberside (peer review).

Joyner, M. (1996)  “Emancipatory Research as Politics; or, the Canadian State, the Shelter Movement and Social Science Discourse in Canadian Public Policy”, Fourth Annual Essex International Social Science Conference on Methodology, University of Essex, Colchester, United Kingdom. (peer review)

Joyner, M. (1996)  “Dividing the Difference:  Placing the Canadian Domestic Violence Strategy into a Federal Context”, Canadian Political Science Association Annual Meeting, Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario,  Canada (peer review).

Joyner, M. (1996) “Numbers and Knowledge:  The Epistemology of  Mathematics and Social Science Revisited", (Re:)Presenting the Political Graduate Student Conference, York University, Downsview, Ontario, Canada.

Miscellaneous Internal Activities

Cotton, D., Joyner, M. and George, R. (2011) Gender and Ethnicity Degree Attainment Gap Report.  Plymouth University Internal Report.

Joyner, M. and Rowe, D. (2010) “The Mayflower’s Return Journey: Developing the North American Student Market”, V.C’s Teaching and Learning Conference.  University of Plymouth.

Joyner, M. (2008) “Accrediting Continuing Professional Development:  A Proposal for a University ‘Shell’ Framework”, University of Plymouth Colleges Summer Conference. University of Plymouth

Joyner, M and Lea, S. (2008) “Including Competence in Higher Education”, VCs Learning and Teaching Conference.  University of Plymouth.

Joyner, M. and Johns, N. (2006) “The Political Economy of Videogaming”, School of Law and Social Science Seminar Series.  University of Plymouth.

Joyner, M. (2006)  “Student Disability and the Placement Experience”, Placements Conference.  University of Plymouth.

Burkill, S. and Joyner, M. (2006).  “Plagiarism; An Assessment Problem?”, University of Plymouth Colleges Summer Conference.  University of Plymouth.

Stokes, A; Davis, L.; Joyner, M. and Reid, F. (2003)  “Assessment Methods and Learning Outcomes”, Promoting Successful Learning and Teaching Conference.  University of Plymouth.

Joyner, M. 1999. 10 Stupid Things Movies Tell Us About the Internet, Joint Social Policy and Social Work/Sociology Seminar Series, University of Plymouth.