Tara Ball

Senior Lecturer

Institute of Education

I completed a Joint Hons degree in Education and Music at Roehampton university before completing my PGCE primary. Prior to working in higher education, I began my career in early years/ primary education where I have experience of working across the entire early years/primary age range in both mixed and single age groups and teaching all subjects. My interest in personal, social and emotional development stems from my experience working in early years and schools where I assisted in setting up nurture and community groups to support young children and their families. I was also appointed as Early Years Co-Ordinator with responsibility for planning, assessment and delivery of the Early Years curriculum.

I joined the Institute of Education at Staffordshire university in October 2014. I currently lead the BA Hons Education and BA Hons Education (Early Years) full time extended top up and teach on all modules including Literacy and Numeracy, The Reflective Practitioner, Doing Education Differently as well as supervise undergraduate research projects. I also teach on the full time BA Early Childhood Studies course.

On a personal note I have grade 8 (Associated Board Royal School of Music) in clarinet, piano, flute and theory and have supported students from grade 1 to A level music performance. Outside of education my interests include listening to music and going to various festivals/gigs and walking my dogs.

Professional memberships and activities

Member of Staffordshire Early Years Professional Network

Member of British Educational Research Association

Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Member of the Institute for Learning

Member of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music

Academic qualifications

2019 – current Doctorate of Education (Staffordshire University)

2017 – Masters in Education (Staffordshire University)

2015 - Senior Fellow of Higher Education Academy

2014 - Fellow of Higher Education Academy

2007 - Internal Verifier Award (V1)

2005 - Assessor Award (A1)

1994 - PGCE (Manchester University)

1993 - BA Joint Honours in Education and Music (Roehampton university, London)


Early Childhood studies 0-8yrs

Professional development: Reflecting on practice
Personal, professional and academic development

Student placements

PSED; Social and emotional readiness

Music and movement for young children

Research interests

Social and emotional work readiness of undergraduate early years students

The role of social and emotional skills within Early Years


I teach across all levels of the BA Early Childhood Studies courses, including the modules:

  • The Reflective Practitioner
  • Personal, professional and academic development
  • Literacy and numeracy
  • Individual research project
  • Global perspectives and Childhood
  • Doing Education Differently
in the UK for Quality Education

Sustainable Development Goal 4, Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2023

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