Dr Julia Morgan

Dr Julia Morgan

Lecturer in Early Childhood Studies

Plymouth Institute of Education (Faculty of Arts & Humanities)


To take part in the Prison Visiting Survey please click on the following link and then enter the password which has been sent to you and press proceed; you will then be taken to the questionnaire. All information entered is encrypted. Thank you for your time I do appreciate it. all the best Julia

Click here to take our Online Survey

Faculty of Health and Human Sciences:1) Faculty Academic CPD Lead.

Institute of Education:1) Lecturer - Early Childhood Studies. 

Co-Lead Participatory Research Cluster Group


PhD -  Centre for the Analysis of Social Exclusion, London School of Economics.   Funded by the ESRC and the Richard Titmuss Award.    'Parenting and its determinants:  the impact on childhood antisocial behaviour'.

Post Graduate Diploma Public Health (Global Health).   Manchester University.

MSc Development Management. Open University.

MSc Social Research Methods and Social Policy.   Centre for the Analysis of Social Exclusion, London School of Economics.  ESRC Funded. 

PG Cert in Conflict and Development - Open University.

PG Cert - Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (LTHE).   Plymouth University.

BSc - Social Anthropology.   London School of Economics.

I originally trained as a  health professional  and  worked for ten years  in various NHS hospitals around the country.    I have  taught on an on-line Masters in Public Health (MPH) for six years, worked as a researcher on a child development study, worked  for The Children's Society, for  Sure Start and for the family support charity Home-Start.     More recently, I have worked with children who live or work on the street  in  Mongolia, Southern Africa  and in Romania.   I am the principal investigator of a project looking at prison visiting and previously undertook research which examined the support offered by schools to children with a father in prison.   I am currently the Academic Lead for CPD for the Faculty of Health and Human Sciences.  

Professional membership

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Member of the Social Policy Association

Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute

Member of the Howard League for Penal Reform


Roles on external bodies

Fellow– Higher Education Academy.

Reviewer- ESRC Grants.

Reviewer- MRC Grants.

Memberof Editorial Board – Journal of Community Medicine and Public Health Care.

Reviewer– Number of Public Health Journals, Journal of Further and Higher Education andChildren and Young Services Review.

Memberof Advisory Committee for Department of Education funded project run byBarnardos and POPS:  i-HOP InformationHub on Offenders’ families with children for Professionals


Teaching interests

Children's rights; children's perspectives; social policy; cross-cultural comparisons;  social justice; children's health and well-being; sociological and anthropological perspectives.

Global Public Health and International Development.

Participatory Research Methods.

On-line learning.

Programme Lead for the MA Early Childhood Studies (IMP) and MA International Study of Early Childhood.

Staff serving as external examiners

ExternalExaminer – Huddersfield University – MA Professional Practice and  Childhood 2010-2014.

ExternalExaminer – Liverpool John Moores – MA International Approaches in  Education and Care.   2016 – onwards.

Research interests

Social Policy, Children and the Family;  Social Justice;  Children, Criminal Justice and the Prison System;   Child Development and Children's Health/Wellbeing;  Children's Perspectives and Children's Rights; Global Perspectives on Childhood; Global Public Health, Children and Families; Anthropological and Sociological Studies of Childhood.

Other research

Current Research/Papers

Peters, J et al (in review). How do parents perceive and utilize knowledge of their infant’s mental health?  A systematic review of the literature.   Journal of Child Health Care.


Morgan, J & Leeson, C., Constructions of childhood, children’s agency and risk: Reflections on missing children inthe UK.   Children and Society.

 Leeson, C & Morgan, J., Children of prisoners: An invisible group of young carers. Journal of Education and Human Development.

Morgan, J.,   A right not aprivilege:  Discourses of care and control around children visiting their parent in prison in the UK.  International Journal of Children’s Rights.


Morgan, J., Parenting from Prison:   Exploring the narratives of imprisoned mothers.  Gender and Society.  

PhD's currently being supervised

A socio-cultural exploration of mother’sunderstandings and representations of infant mental health in England (PhD).

The perspectives of families on the‘Troubled Families’ initiative in Cornwall.  Funded by Cornwall County Council (PhD).

 A qualitative study exploring children’s role playexperiences in two early year’s pack-away settings (PhD).


Use of Appreciative Inquiry Methodology and the 4-Dresearch method to explore the inclusion of children and young people with SENDin mainstream schools (EdD).

Using oral story to promote mathematical thinking  in the early years (PhD).

Exploration of Active Learning in Saudi Arabia (PhD).

MA Dissertations supervised:
  • A qualitative study exploring humanitarian workers’ perspectives on barriers and facilitators when identifying, planning and providing health and sanitation services for the most vulnerable populations within an emergency humanitarian response.
  • A qualitative study exploring the perspectives of refugee-assisting NGO’s in Bangkok on the primary health needs of urban refugees. 
  • Application of aid effectiveness principles in vulnerable children (VC) and caregiver programming in Nigeria. A qualitative study of key informant perspectives on the Systems Transformed for Empowered Action and Enabling Responses for Vulnerable Children and Families (STEER) project.
  • A qualitative investigation of health workers perceptions of health provision provided to adult Internally Displaced Persons by humanitarian agencies in Malakal, South Sudan
  • A qualitative study exploring the experiences and perceptions of parents whose preterm baby has been cared for in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in Los Angeles County, California.
  • A qualitative study exploring women’s perspectives on childhood immunization in rural and urban communities of Zaire Province, Angola.
  • A qualitative study exploring the perspectives of mothers in Qatar on dietary habits and healthy lifestyle choices for their children aged between 8-13years old. 
  • An exploratory study into the health-seeking behavior and healthcare access of slum-dwellers in Makoko-Iwaya area of Lagos, Nigeria. 
  • A qualitative study exploring the perspectives of parents/guardians about health services for children with autistic spectrum disorder in Abuja, Nigeria. 
  • A qualitative study to explore the factors that may be associated with accidental poisoning amongst children 0-4 years in the parish of St. Ann, Jamaica.
  • Exploring parents’ knowledge and perceptions of childhood obesity and obesity intervention programmes in the Cayman Islands.
  • Perceptions and Experiences of Mothers regarding Exclusive Breastfeeding in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.  
  • A qualitative study to explore reasons why pregnant women in East Kent, England continue to smoke during pregnancy.
  • Knowledge of and attitudes to childhood autism amongst teachers in Nigerian Pre and Primary Schools.
  • 'The same but different: A comparative study of preschool provision in England and China'
  • 'Staying the Course: The meanings, actions and decisions of parents involved in a parenting programme'
  • 'It's a shame you gave up':   The perspectives of mothers in relation to infant feeding, breastfeeding support and education'
  • European Work Placements and Personal, Professional and Academic Development:   The views of Widening Participation Early Childhood Studies Undergraduates
  • Measuring associations between maternal characteristics and nutritional outcomes of children aged 6 -59 months in Kakuma Refugee Camp; Kenya
  • Understanding the perceived barriers to accessing youth friendly clinic services amongst young people vulnerable to HIV in Kiev, Ukraine.
  • Exploring coping mechanisms:   the perspectives of people with tuberculosis (TB) who live in Harare, Zimbabwe. 
  • Understanding the HIV/AIDS knowledge, attitudes and practices of Benue State University students, Benue State, Nigeria  and their responses to prevention messages and campaigns
  • Indigenous practices in musculoskeletal injury management in Ashanti Region of Ghana:  The perspectives of Users and Traditional Bone Setters
  • A qualitative exploration of the perspectives of voluntary service providers and HIV positive women concerning the services available to HIV positive women during their pregnancy and early post-natal period in London (UK).
  • Exploring the factors that contribute to influenza vaccination non-compliance of medical staff in rural Switzerland.
  • A qualitative study to explore the role of Mobile Health Units (MHU) in improving access to MNCH services to mothers and children in Union Council (UC) Matta in District Kasur, Pakistan.
  • Exploring Parents’ Experiences of the Vaccination Process for Children Under Age 5 in Mono County, California, United States.
  • A qualitative study to explore the views of parents and care-givers in a rural area of Abuja Nigeria about their use of traditional and modern medicines in relation to childhood health.

Research degrees awarded to supervised students

Lavelle, M., (2011).  A sociological investigation of Sure Start Children's Centres: Understanding parental participation (Funded by Devon County Council and HEFCE) Supervisors: Dr Norman Gabriel, Dr Julia Morgan and Professor Bill Jordan

Grants & contracts

2013:   Becoming a fish in water: exploring students' experiences of the intake module on online postgraduate programmes . 7,000 Euros.  Laureate Online Education.

2012:   Criticality, International Students and On-Line Learning.   5,000 Euros.  Laureate Online Education.

2011:  Using the on-line environment to support foundation degree (level 5) students in their progression to an honours degree (level 6) in Early Childhood Studies.   Funded Plymouth University Teaching Award. £5,000.

2010:   Support Provision in Schools for Children with a Father in Prison.   Funded Plymouth Univeristy Community Research Award.  £10,000.

Research groups

  • Early Childhood Studies
  • PhD in Education
  • Professional Theory and Practice

Morgan, J., & Leeson, C., (inpress) The impact ofparental imprisonment on children’s school experiences in the UK: an overviewof the research literature, policy and practice.    Handbook of Prison and the Family.  Palgrave.

Morgan, J., (2016). Participation, Empowerment and Capacity Building: Exploring young people’s perspectives on the services provided to them by a grassroots NGO in sub-Saharan Africa. Children and Youth Services Review. DOI:  10.1016/j.childyouth.2016.04.012

Leeson, C & Morgan, J., (2015). Children, Inequality and Risk. In Parker-Rees, R. & Leeson, C (Eds). Early Childhood Studies. London: Sage.

Morgan, J & Leeson, C., (2015). How can schools support children who experience the imprisonment of a parent or close relative? Every Child Journal, Vol 5.1, 20-26

Morgan, J & Sengedorj, T. (2015). 'If you were the researcher what would you research?': Understanding children's perspectives on research in Mongolia and Zambia. Research and Method in Education.  38 (2) 200-218

Morgan, J.,(2015).  Foundation Degree to Honours Degree: The Transition Experiences of Students on an Early Years Programme".   Journal of Further and Higher Education. 39 (1), 108-126

Morgan, J. (2014). Book Review. Children’s Rights in Practice, edited by Phil Jones and Gary Walker, Sage Publications, London, pp.256, £24.99, ISBN 9781849203807. Journal of Education for Teaching. Volume 40, Issue 2, pages 191-193

Morgan, J, Leeson, C, Carter Dillon, R, Wirgman, A.L., & Needham, M., (2014). ‘A Hidden Group of Children’: Support in Schools for Children who Experience Parental Imprisonment. Children and Society. Volume 28, Issue 4, Pages: 269–279

Leeson, C & Morgan, J (2014).  Strategic planning for support services for children with a parent or close relative in prison.   Social Policy and Administration.48:7, 848-863

Morgan, J., Leeson, C & Carter Dillon, R., (2013). How can schools support children with a parent in prison? Pastoral Care in Education. Vol 31, No 3, 199-210.  

Morgan, J., (2013). International Recognition of Children’s Rights and its influence on Early Childhood Education and Care:  The case of Zambia.  In Georgeson, J et al (Eds) International Early Childhood Studies.  Maidenhead: Open University    http://mcgraw-hill.co.uk/html/0335245919.html

Morgan, J., (2010).  'Frameworks for Understanding Development'  in Parker-Rees, R. & Leeson, C (Eds).   Early Childhood Studies.   Exeter:  Learning Matters

Tully, L., Arseneault, L., Caspi, A., Moffitt, T., and Morgan, J. (2004). Does maternal warmth moderate the effects of birth weight on twins ADHD symptoms and IQ. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 72 (2), 218-226

Caspi, A., Moffitt, T., Morgan, J., Rutter, M., Taylor, A., Arseneault, L., Tully, L., Jacobs, C., Kim-Cohen, J., and Polo-Tomas, M. (2004). Maternal Expressed Emotion predicts children’s antisocial behaviour problems: Using MZ-Twin differences to identify environmental effects on behavioural development. Developmental Psychology, 40 (2), 149-16

Moffitt, T.E., et al  (2002). Contemporary teen-aged mothers in Britain. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 43, 727-742

Reports & invited lectures

Morgan J (2016). No Lost Generation Impact Study: Syrian Refugee Children in Lebanon. World Vision Lebanon

Morgan, J., (2015). An independent evaluation of Actionwork. Plymouth: Plymouth University

Morgan, J., (2014). An evaluation of the Barefeet Theatre Company. Plymouth: Plymouth University

Morgan, J. & Gill, O., (2013).  (eds).  Children affected by the imprisonment of a family member:  A handbook for schools developing good practice.   London:  Barnardos.   ISBN: 978-1-907645-04-4.   Available at:  http://www.barnardos.org.uk/what_we_do/policy_research_unit/research_and_publications.htm

Other academic activities

Morgan, J (2017). Staying in contactwith their children:  the experiences ofimprisoned mothers in England.    Childrenof Prisoners Conference, New Zealand.

Morgan, J et al (2016). ‘Beyond Rubricated Reflection–Perspectives of instructors andstudents on reflection in an online Master ofPublic Health Programme’.    The HigherEducation Conference 2016 Amsterdam.

Morgan, J & Leeson, C., (2016). ‘Police responses to missing children in the UK: how far is mental health a focus?’ International Congress on Law and Mental Health. Prague

Leeson, C & Morgan J., (2016). ‘The impact of the gender specific treatment on the resilience and wellbeing of mothers with addiction problems’. International Congress on Law and Mental Health. Prague

Morgan, J & Leeson, C., (2016). Improving prison visiting experiences for imprisoned parents and their children. International Conference of Law Enforcement and Public Health. Amsterdam

Leeson, C & Morgan, J (2016). Children of Prisoners: A Hidden Group of Young Carers. International Conference of Law Enforcement and Public Health. Amsterdam.

Morgan, J et al (2016). ‘Beyond Rubricated Reflection– Perspectives of instructors and
students on reflection in an online Master of Public Health Programme’. The Higher Education Conference 2016 Amsterdam

Welbourne, P., Morgan, J & Leeson, C., (2015). ‘Missing children: a contested territory’. Young People and the Law: International Approaches to Care, Corrections and Intervention. Conference held at Monash University, Prato Centre, Italy

Liverpool University (2014). Design of Online Masters Module on Health Inequalities for Masters in Public Health (Consultancy).

Plymouth University, Theatre Royal Plymouth Young Company, TR2 and Barnardo's. (2013)  Children of Prisoners Theatre Production accessed at: http://www.i-hop.org.uk/app/answers/detail/a_id/361.

Conference Paper.   Morgan J., Using the On-Line Environment to Support Students in Progressing From Foundation Degree to Honours Degree. Paper presented at  Learning Spaces and Communities, 6th Annual International Symposium for Emerging Technologies for Online Learning.   April 9-11, 2013.    Las Vegas, Nevada.  

Conference Paper:   The transition from foundation degree (level 5) to honours degree level (6):  the perspectives of students.   April 2011 Seville - 'Access and Retention:  Experiences of Non-Traditional Learners in Higher Education' .