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Personal profile


Selina Copley is a Registered General Nurse by professional background and has twenty five years’ experience of health and criminal justice practice, leadership and teaching. She believes passionately in the importance of education and the application of theory and research for the development of excellence in real world practice. Before joining the University she worked in clinical practice as a healthcare manager at HMP Pentonville and HMP Belmarsh, leading forward the strategic development and modernisation of health services for prisoners. Her first degree is in Psychology with Politics and she has a Graduate Diploma in Forensic Psychology and a Master’s in Education.

She joined the University of Huddersfield in 2007 to work as a Senior Lecturer in Applied Criminology and taught a range of topics relating to criminal justice practice including forensic mental health. She was also involved in teaching social theory and professional development to probation police officers in partnership with West Yorkshire Police. She was Course Leader for Applied Criminology from 2009-2011 before moving to the BSc Criminology programme in 2012.

She is currently involved in undergraduate teaching and postgraduate supervision. Her areas of expertise relate to theory and practice within the Criminal Justice System, as well as criminological theory. Her main teaching and research interests are around forensic mental health, and the modernisation of professional practice through education and reflective practice. Her work also involves the development and delivery of the employability agenda, for which she is divisional lead. Her current PhD research explores the potential value of reflective practice for service delivery and professional development within the police service. She is also the author of Reflective Practice for Policing Students.

Research Expertise and Interests

  • The metal health of offenders
  • The effectiveness of forensic mental health service provision
  • Health inequalities amongst marginalised groups and offenders
  • Social exclusion and crime
  • The drug crime nexus
  • The effectiveness of substance misuse interventions for the treatment of offenders and the prevention of crime
  • Reflective practice for professional development and service delivery
  • The use of reflective practice for professional development within policing
  • The higher educational agenda, pedagogy and adult learning
  • Implementation of the employability agenda for work readiness

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