James Holyoak

Senior Lecturer

Health, Education, Policing and Sciences

With a backround in Policing, I am an authentic leader with a proven record of developing people, improving performance and delivering sustainable change.

As a police leader at tactical and strategic levels, I created adaptive, achievement-focused environments, by empowering teams and individuals to resolve problem challenges.

I supported the East Midlands Police and Academic Collaboration and I continue to support police colleagues to be successful in their professional and academic careers.

To this end, I joined Higher Education and developed one of the first Degree Apprenticeship Programmes in in England and Wales and led several successful contemporary policing modules, before joining Staffordshire University. I have continued to offer my experience to support students and stakeholders in developing police related learning.

I am also actively involved in research into Serious and Organised Crime and using both practitioner and academic skills to support Student officers to develop Action Research Projects, thus creating an evidence base for regional police stakeholders and future research.

As a Police Volunteer, I led an innovative Step Up programme for  Police Cadets, to support diverse recruitment and retention.

Professional memberships and activities

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. United Kingdom.
  • Society of Evidenced Based Policing

Academic qualifications

  • Master of Science

(MSc), with merit. Public Leadership and Management, Warwick Business School, University of Warwick. United Kingdom. 2009 to 2014.

Post Graduate Certificate in Teaching in Higher Education and Learning (Distinction). De Montfort University, Leicester. United Kingdom. 2020. 


  • Leadership
  • Cultural Change
  • Policing strategy and tactics
  • Action research
  • Evidence based policing

Research interests

  • Serious and organised crime
  • Criminal use of firearms
  • Police culture and practice
  • Police officer welfare
  • Victim experience and victim support services
  • Interagency working
  • Policing and social media
  • Police demand
  • Evidence based policing practice



  • Critical Incident leadership
  • Ethical decision making
  • Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship – multiple modules
  • Degree Holder entry programme – multiple modules
  • PCDA End Point Assessment

Post Graduate

  • 21st Century Police Leadership and Strategy
in the UK for Quality Education

Sustainable Development Goal 4, Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2024

for Career Prospects

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Facilities

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Social Inclusion

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023

of Research Impact is ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Very Considerable’

Research Excellence Framework 2021

of Research is “Internationally Excellent” or “World Leading”

Research Excellence Framework 2021

Four Star Rating

QS Star Ratings 2021