Dr Louise Webber

Dr Louise Webber

Lecturer in Early Childhood Studies

Plymouth Institute of Education - School of Society and Culture (Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business)



BA Hons Early Childhood Studies and Foundation Lecturer and Programme Leader


  • Doctor of Education, (2010-2015), Plymouth University.
  • Master of Education, (2003-2005),Open University.
  • Advanced Diploma in Child Development, (2001-2003), Open University.
  • Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills Status (QTLS) (2011), Institute for Learning.
  • Certificate in Education, (1999-2001), Plymouth University.
  • D32, D33 Assessor’s Awards, (2000), Petroc College (formerly East Devon).
  • NVQ 3 in Playwork, (1999), Petroc College (formerly East Devon).
  • NNEB (Nursery Nursing), (1988-1990), Petroc College (formerly North Devon)

Professional membership

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) (2014)


Teaching interests

My teaching interests include professional practice, WBL/reflective practice, Foundation Year modules, research methods.

Current Teaching:
ED002 - Studying Learning, Learning to Study
ED004 - Independent Inquiry
EEC411 - An Introduction to Early Childhood Studies
EEC566 - Work Based Learning


Research interests

Doctorate research title: 'Mature Women and Higher Education: Reconstructing Identity and Family Relationships'. 
My past and current research mainly focuses upon the effects of identity transformation on mature women and the family unit as a whole, through a consideration of the impact of HE on family life. I am interested in the narrative accounts of women students (Undergraduate and Professional Doctorate) who juggle study and family lives. The themes of identity change, transformations and family capital are central to my research. 
More recently I have researched into the effects of studying on family life from a child's perspective and I have begun to explore Foundation Year Students' experiences of studying. I am also starting a project working collaboratively with ECS students looking at WBL and reflection.


Key publications

Key publications are highlighted

Webber, L. & Dismore, H. (2020) Mothers and higher education: balancing time, study and space, Journal of Further and Higher Education, DOI: 10.1080/0309877X.2020.1820458

Webber L (2023) 'Evaluating the foundation year – 'Foundation sets you up as a student more than anything!'' Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning 25, (2) 174-184 , DOI Open access
Webber L (2023) 'Using capital, habitus and field to explore Foundation Year students’ Higher Education experiences' Journal of Further and Higher Education 1-15 , DOI Open access
Andrysiak C, Mizock L, Webber L & Kranzberg M (2022) '“It Takes a Village:” Reentry Women’s Perseverance in Completing a Clinical or Counseling Psychology Doctorate' Journal of Women and Gender in Higher Education 15, (4) 351-374 , DOI
Webber L & Dismore H (2020) 'Mothers and higher education: balancing time, study and space' Journal of Further and Higher Education 1-15 , DOI Open access
Webber L (2020) 'Researching with children using Skype interviews and drawings: methodological and ethical issues explored' Journal of Early Childhood Research 18, (4) 339-353 , DOI Open access
Webber LA, Goodall H, Wickett K & Huggins V (2017) 'From student to graduate: Four learners’ perspectives of the professional doctorate journey' Management in Education , DOI Open access
Webber LA (2017) 'Women, higher education and family capital: ‘i could not have done it without my family!’' Research in Post-Compulsory Education , DOI Open access
Webber LA (2017) ''Supporting professional doctorate women students through identity change and turbulent times: who cares?'' Pastoral Care in Education , DOI Open access
Webber L (2017) 'A school’s journey in creating a relational environment which supports attachment and emotional security' Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties 1-15 , DOI Open access
Webber L (2015) 'Mature women and higher education: reconstructing identity and family relationships' Research in Post-Compulsory Education 20, (2) 208-226 , DOI Open access
Webber L (2014) 'Accessing HE for non-traditional students: ‘Outside of my position’' Research in Post-Compulsory Education 19, (1) 91-106 , DOI Open access
Webber L (2017) Juggling Higher Education Study and Family Life. Trentham Books Limited


Conferences organised

Conferences Attended:
SRHE Conference for Newer and Early Career Researchers, Coldra Court Hotel, Wales,December 2017, ’My mummy studies’ – An investigation into the effects of higher education on family life’.
Mature Learners in Further and Higher Education: a symposium, Plymouth University,June 2017, 'Juggling Higher Education Studies and Family Life'.
Petroc Scholarly Activity Conference, Barnstaple College, June 2017, 'Juggling Higher Education Studies and Family Life'.
SRHE Conference for Newer and Early Career Researchers, Celtic Manor Hotel, Wales,December 2016, 'Women and Professional Doctorates: Changing professional identity and family relationships'.
Inaugural International Research Conference organised by the Further Education Research Association (FERA), Harris Manchester College, University of Oxford, 12th July 2014, ‘Mature Women and Higher Education:Threatening or enriching marital relationships?’
Early Childhood Workforce Conference, 20th June 2014, Plymouth University, ‘Being a Mature Early Years Degree Student: Certainties, Challenges and Opportunities’.