sercombe howard prof

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Contact Details

Prof Howard Sercombe


Lord Hope Building

Tel : +44 (0)141 444 8606

Research Interests

Professor Sercombe has researched extensively in the area of youth studies, including studies of the future of youth, young people and public space, and community development with young people. (Equity and Social Justice).

He is interested in how we think about young people, and is currently working with colleagues from neurophysiology and developmental psychology on the implications of the brain architecture research on our understanding of young people. (Physical, Cultural, Psychological and Emotional Wellbeing, Equity and Social Justice).

Professor Sercombe has had a major role in the development of youth work as a profession. His scholarship around this area includes writing the Australian Code of Ethics for Youth Work which has been adopted or adapted in three Australian States and the Australian Capital Territory and is under consideration nationally.  He also wrote the Code of Ethics for the profession in Scotland.  He has lectured extensively across the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Zambia on professional ethics and professionalisation, and his book Youth Work Ethics (Sage, 2010) is a milestone in the field. He is currently developing approaches to research methodology that take seriously the ethical commitment to justice and development. (The Development of Professional Practice).

Teaching Interests

Professor Sercombe teaches professional ethics, social and political theory, research methods, youth work professional practice and youth studies.

Biographical Summary

Professor Sercombe is a youth work practitioner, researcher and academic who moved to Scotland from Australia in early 2007. Brought up in an Aboriginal community, he has worked as a detached youth worker in inner-city areas and housing estates and quite recently as a community based youth worker in remote towns in Western Australia. His doctoral studies, in sociology, looked at the development of our ideas about young people and the representation of youth in the media. He is passionate about the development of youth work as a profession, and about the way that young people are treated in societies like ours.

Membership of Professional Bodies

Professor Sercombe is a Lifetime Member of Youth Affairs Council of Western Australia, granted 2005. He is a member of the Youthlink Policy Forum, and of the Registrations Committee of the Standards Council for Community Learning and Development, Scotland. 

External Responsibilities

Professor Sercombe is a Consulting Editor, Youth Studies Australia and A Journal of Youth Work. He is External Examiner for the International Christian College degree in Youth Ministry.