Dr Joe Allison

Dr Joe Allison

Lecturer in Clinical Education

Peninsula Medical School (Faculty of Health)



I have been working for the University of Plymouth in a number of different capacities for over 15 years. My current roles include Lecturer on the Clinical Education programme, as well as Visiting Specialist for the Doctoral College. Previously I spent 12 years in Student Support, working in and running the Learning Development Team. I have always had a passion for teaching in higher education, and now to be able to combine that with my keen interest in Medicine and Health is a real thrill and one that I am looking forward to greatly. One of my other keen interests is in writing, particularly at postgraduate level, for which I am running a series of writing workshops and a writing group for the Doctoral College.   


University of Plymouth (2019) Professional Doctorate in Education 

University of Plymouth (2006)   PGCE (PCET)
University of Plymouth MSc. Coastal and Ocean Policy (2001)

University of Southampton BSc. Marine Science (2000)


Professional membership

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)

Roles on external bodies

Open University Press Editorial Advisory Board



Research interests

I completed the professional doctorate in education (EdD) in March 2019, where I was looking at critical thinking across four different disciplines (Medicine, Education, Law and Criminology, and Environmental Science), and how different understandings of this concept impact on the disciplinary knowledge practices and teaching-learning interactions. Drawing on a theoretical framework made up of Bernstein's pedagogic device, and Bourdieu's theories of field, capital and habitus.

Other areas of interest include:
Academic writing
Critical thinking
Teaching in higher education
Education theory and philosophy

Grants & contracts

2010 CEBE: innovative projects in teaching and learning. Implementing and evaluating the integration of critical thinking into Project Based Learning (PBL) in Environmental Building. £5,135, 1 December 2009 – 31 January 2011 



Key publications

Key publications are highlighted


Winter, J., Barton, G., Allison, J. & Cotton, D. (2015) ‘Learning Development and Education for Sustainability: what are the links?’. Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education, 0(8).

Allison, J. & Pan, W. (2011) 'Implementing and Evaluating the Integration of Critical Thinking into Problem Based Learning in Environmental Building'. Journal for Education in the Built Environment, 6(2); 93-115.

Pan, W. & Allison, J. (2010) 'Exploring Project Based and Problem Based Learning in Environmental Building Education by Integrating Critical Thinking'. International Journal of Engineering Education, 26(3); 547-553.

Cotton D, Winter J, Allison JA & Mullee R (2023) 'Visual images of sustainability in higher education: the hidden curriculum of climate change on campus' International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education 24, (7) 1576-1593 , DOI
Pan W & Allison J (2010) 'Exploring Project Based and Problem Based Learning in Environmental Building Education by Integrating Critical Thinking' INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ENGINEERING EDUCATION 26, (3) 547-553 Author Site


Reports & invited lectures

Outside of work I very much enjoy spending my time with friends and family in the outdoors, whether that be camping, biking, paddle-boarding, kayaking, gardening, or stomping with the dog on Dartmoor.

Other academic activities

Pan, W. and Allison, J. (2011) ‘Evaluating a Process Model of Integrating Critical Thinking into Project Based Learning in Sustainable Building’. International conference on Engineering Education, August 21st – 26th, 2011. Belfast.

Allison, J. and Dawson, J. (2011) The complexities of defining critical thinking. The Learning Development in Higher Education Symposium. April 18th – 20th, 2011, Queens University, Belfast.

Dawson, J. and Allison, J. (2010) ‘ Critical thinking resource: embedding and evaluation’. Celebrating Partnerships: The Learning Development in Higher Education Symposium. 29-30 March 2010, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham 

Allison, J. and Gentle, C. (2010) ‘From Memorisation to Critical Analysis: the international learner’s journey through educational cultures’ [Poster]. Exhibited at, University of Plymouth VC’s Conference: internationalisation. 30 June 2010

Allison, J. and Gentle, C. (2010) ‘Email feedback on student writing: reading between the lines’ [Poster]. Exhibited at, 29-31 March 2010, The Learning Development in Higher Education Network Symposium