• 125 Citations
  • 5 h-Index

Research output per year

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Personal profile


I am Professor of Work and Learning and Associate Dean (Teaching and Learning) at the University of Huddersfield where I have worked since 2006. Prior to joining the University I taught in Further Education (FE) colleges for sixteen years, mainly on ESOL and teacher education provision. I still maintain a keen interest in FE and I am currently leading a three-year national research project on initial teacher education for science, engineering and technology teachers working in colleges. This major project is funded by the Gatsby Foundation.

My first degree was in History and French from the University of Manchester and I later went on to study for a Post-Graduate Certificate in Education and the Diploma in Teaching English as a Foreign Language to Adults. I completed an MA by research at Manchester Metropolitan University in 2005, which examined the impact of policy on FE teaching practice. In November 2009 I was awarded a PhD for my thesis entitled College Cultures and Pre-Service Trainee Teachers: a study in the creation and transmission of ideas about teaching. In 2015 I completed an MSc in Social Research Methods and Statistics at the Cathie Marsh Centre for Census and Survey Research at the University of Manchester.

In 2014 the Higher Education Academy awarded me with a National Teaching Fellowship for my work around vocational education.

I am currently visiting professor at Canterbury Christ Church University.

Research Expertise and Interests

  • Vocational education and training
  • Teacher education and professional development in the Further Education sector
  • Vocational pedagogy
  • College-based higher education
  • The work-based learning of architects
  • Quantitative research methods in educational research

Research Expertise and Interests

  • Vocational Education
  • Vocational Training
  • Teacher Education
  • Professional Development
  • Further Education
  • Vocational Pedagogy
  • College-Based HE
  • Work Based Learning
  • Quantitative Research Methods

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Research Output

Enhancing subject-specialist pedagogy through the initial teacher education of science, engineering and technology teachers in further education colleges

Orr, K., Hanley, P., Hepworth, J. & Thompson, R., 31 Mar 2019, 44 p.

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

Open Access

The recruitment of VET teachers and the failure of policy in England’s further education sector

Hanley, P. & Orr, K., 1 Jun 2019, In : Journal of Education and Work. 32, 2, p. 103-114 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • VET teachers and trainers

    Orr, K., 1 Apr 2019, The Wiley Handbook of Vocational Education and Training. Guile, D. & Unwin, L. (eds.). 1st ed. John Wiley & Sons Inc. , p. 329-348 20 p. (Wiley Handbooks in Education).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    1 Citation (Scopus)

    What is the aim of VET: increasing productivity or securing social mobility?

    Orr, K., 1 Mar 2019, 2 p. London : The Edge Foundation.

    Research output: Other contribution

    Open Access
  • Black students in VET: Learner experiences in an English metropolitan and provincial setting

    Avis, J., Orr, K. & Warmingtom, P., 4 Sep 2018, Trends in Vocational Education and Training Research: Proceedings of the European Conference on Educational Research (ECER), Vocational Education and Training Network (VETNET) 2018 . Nägele, C. & Stalder, B. (eds.). CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, p. 44-52 9 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

    Open Access
  • Activities

    • 17 Oral presentation
    • 8 Invited talk

    Vocational knowledge and social justice: Putting pedagogy in its place

    Kevin Orr (Speaker)

    9 Dec 2019

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

    How distinctive is college-based higher education in England?

    Kevin Orr (Speaker)

    6 Dec 2019

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

    What is the value of subject-specialist pedagogy in college teaching?

    Kevin Orr (Speaker)

    7 Nov 2019

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

    The charlatans: Possession, corporate shamen and the cult of the empowering leader.

    Paul Willis (Speaker), John Nicholson (Speaker) & Kevin Orr (Speaker)

    10 Jul 2019

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

    Teaching Training for Inclusive Adult Education: Pedagogical Approaches at University of Huddersfield

    Kevin Orr (Keynote speaker)

    16 Nov 2018

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

    Press / Media

    Ofsted reveals FE research reference group

    Kevin Orr & James Avis


    1 item of Media coverage

    Press/Media: Other

    Revolutionary New Vocational T-Levels are Doomed Without Teachers

    Pamela Hanley & Kevin Orr


    1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Expert Comment