Robert Smallwood

Senior Lecturer

School of Justice, Security and Sustainability

I served as a police officer with Derbyshire Constabulary from 1983 until 2016. I started my career with 10 years' service in the Peartree area of Derby and consequently ended up working in Matlock. Towards the end of my policing career, I worked as a law trainer.

I have dealt with a wide range of incidents and offences during my career. I received a commendation for actions at the scene of the M1 Kegworth air disaster in January 1989. This was one tragically memorable incident where 47 people died and 74 were seriously injured. 

In 2017 I became a lecturer at the University of Derby and took on the role of Programme Leader for the BA Professional Policing in May 2018. From 2019–2020 I was Senior Lecturer and Course Leader for the BA Professional Policing at Sheffield Hallam University.

I started at Staffordshire University's Institute of Policing as a Senior Lecturer in July 2020 to work on the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship, Degree Holder Entry Programme, and Detective Constable Degree Holder Entry Programme.

Professional memberships and activities

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Fellow of the Society for Education and Training
  • Member of the British Society of Criminology
  • Member of the International Investigative Interviewing Research Group

Academic qualifications

  • MSc (Training), Leicester University
  • PGCertHE, University of Derby
  • PGCE, Nottingham Trent University
  • BA (Hons) Music, Keele University


  • Workplace Learning and Assessment
  • Policing Culture

Research interests

  • Police Education
  • Police Culture
Top 15 for Teaching Quality

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021

6th for Social Inclusion

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022

Midlands University of the Year

Midlands Business Awards 2020