Ms Helen Bowstead

Ms Helen Bowstead

In-sessional Academic Manager and EFL Lecturer

English Language Centre - Academic Development (Library and Academic Development)



Helen Bowstead manages the English Language Centre's insessional provision, which includes credit-rated modules and a range of workshops, online courses and resources aimed at students whose first language is not English. She is a full-time lecturer in English for Academic Purposes and also coordinates the UoP TESOL, which provides students and staff the opportunity to gain an entry-level qualification in English Language Teaching. As part of the Learning Development team, she established the unique and highly successful Writing Cafe and she is a trained PALS supervisor. More recently, Helen has worked on the Hello Project which welcomes newly arrived international and exchange students to the university by matching them with a more experienced 'buddy'. She has also secured funding to provide Community English classes to refugees and asylum seekers and works alongside the EDI team to help facilitate the university of sanctuary scholarships. Helen is also a Mental Health First Aider and a Wellbeing Champion and in her spare time she is studying part-time for a PhD in Education.


MA Education
PGCE (Post-compulsory Education and Training)
PgCTEAP (Teaching English for Academic Purposes)
Professional Certificate TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages)
Advanced Certificate TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language)
BA Hons Communication Studies

Professional membership

Senior Fellow HEA



Teaching interests

Developing writing confidence.

Staff serving as external examiners

External Examiner, Oxford Brookes

External Examiner, University of Exeter



Research interests

Posthumanism/new materialism/post structuralism. Creative/innovative approaches to educational research. Immanent writing practices. Social justice.



Key publications

Key publications are highlighted

Bowstead H (2020) 'Doctoral Thesis as Entangled Becomings: moments that tremble with potential' International Review of Qualitative Research 0, (0) 0-0 Publisher Site , DOI Open access
Gale K & Bowstead H (2013) 'Deleuze and collaborative writing as method of inquiry' Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education (6)
Bowstead HE (2011) 'Coming to writing' Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education. (3) Publisher Site
Bowstead HE (2009) 'Teaching English as a foreign language – a personal exploration of language, alienation and academic literacy' Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education (1) Publisher Site
Bowstead H (2014) 'Telling Stories: Investigating The Challenges To International Students’ Writing Through Personal Narrative' in Lillis T; Harrington K; Lea M Working With Academic Literacies: Case Studies Towards Transformative Practice. The WAC Clearinghouse and Parlor Press
Bowstead HE (2011) 'Devenir ecrivain(e) - Narrative writing as a research practice' in Mansfield C; Seligman S Narrative and the Built Heritage VDM Verlag
Conference Papers
Bowstead H & Pritchard C (2014) 'Space Pirates of the Ocean City' Higher Education Academy conference: Heroes and monsters: extra-ordinary tales of learning and teaching in the arts and humanities The Lowry, Salford Quays, Manchester 6-/-0/20146-/-0/2014
Bowstead H & Pritchard C (2014) 'A tent for the ‘nomad’: Welcome to the Writing Café’' Learning Development Spaces and Places University of Huddersfield 4-/-0/20144-/-0/2014
Bowstead H, Eades S & McMahon P (2014) 'Successfully designing assessments across in-sessional modules in English for Academic/English for Specific Purposes' Internationalisation and the Student Experience Conference University of Plymouth 2-/-1/20132-/-1/2013
Bowstead HE (2013) 'Telling stories, breaking down barriers - the power of personal narrative to trouble notions of the 'other'' Discourse, Power Resistance Conference 13 University of Greenwich 4-/-0/20134-/-0/2013
Bowstead HE, Eades S, Masterson D, McMahon P, Munro M, Lowes R & Luckhurst A (2013) 'In response to the internationalisation agenda: Five consecutive "lightening talks" with subsequent discussion' 10th ALDinHE Conference Plymouth University 3-/-0/20133-/-0/2013
Bowstead HE & McMahon P (2011) 'Creating intercultural exchanges - In response to the Internationalisation Agenda' Teaching and Learning Conference University of Plymouth 7-/-0/20117-/-0/2011
Bowstead HE (2011) 'Telling stories, breaking down barriers' BALEAP Research and Training Presentation Series: Methodologies for researching EAP contexts, practices and pedagogies. University of Leicester 6-/-0/20116-/-0/2011
Bowstead HE (2011) 'Telling stories, naming names' 8th ALDinHE Conference Queen's University Belfast 4-/-0/20114-/-0/2011
Bowstead HE (2011) 'Narrative writing as a research practice' Narrative and the Built Heritage Colloquium University of Plymouth 3-/-0/20113-/-0/2011
Bowstead HE (2011) 'The importance of international students' life stories in breaking down barriers' Higher Education Academy: Teaching international students workshop. King's College London 2-/-0/20112-/-0/2011
Bowstead HE (2010) 'Coming to writing: developing the confidence to transgress academic boundaries' Writing Development in Higher Education Conference - Sustainable writing development: approaches and challenges. Royal College of Physicians 6-/-0/20106-/-0/2010
Bowstead HE & McMahon P (2010) 'Creating a Webfolio: Trainee teachers engage with PebblePad' 5th Plymouth University e-conference. University of Plymouth 4-/-0/20104-/-0/2010
Bowstead HE (2010) 'Collaborative Writing: Transgressing the academic divide' 7th ALDinHE Conference Nottingham Trent University 3-/-0/20103-/-0/2010
Presentations and posters
Bowstead H Bowstead H 'Not-knowing-in-advance: trying to think and see as if not doing a PhD'
Bowstead HE Bowstead HE 'Space Pirates of the Ocean City'
Bowstead H Bowstead H 'Researching without method' Author Site Open access
Bowstead H Bowstead H 'The trouble with sustainability education … Challenging Western-centric discourses in sustainability education' Open access


Conferences organised

Writing Development in Higher Education 16th International Conference. University of Plymouth, 27 - 29 June 2016

Adventures in Posthumanism Conference. University of Plymouth, 3 July 2018
Adventures in Posthumanism Conference. University of Plymouth, 2 June 2021