Nicola Watson

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Senior Lecturer in Children & Families

Children and Families

Contact Details

tel: 01905 542780

Nicola graduated in 1987 majoring in Philosophy, before teaching briefly in the primary sector. She then went on to train and practice as a solicitor working predominantly in the area of family law. During this period Nicola became interested in Alternative Dispute Resolution and trained as a Lawyer Mediator working for many years with separating couples; enabling and facilitating them to reach agreements themselves rather than resorting to court proceedings.

In 2001 Nicola returned to teaching working mainly in Early Years but also in Key Stage 2, Art and SENDI. During this time Nicola drew on her experiences as a mediator and became particularly interested in pedagogy regarding social development. This formed the basis of her dissertation during her M.A. studies.

Nicola is the Student Course Representative Co-ordinator, Level 4 Lead and Personal Academic Tutor Lead  for the Department for Children and Families within the School of Education.


  • Modern Studies B.A. (Hons) (North Staffordshire Polytechnic)
  • PGCE Primary Education (West Midlands College of Higher Education)
  • CPE (Diploma in Law) (Staffordshire University)
  • Law Society Finals (Wolverhampton University)
  • PGCE S.E.N. (Middlesex University)
  • M.A. Early Childhood Education (Sheffield University)
  • PGCE HE (Worcester University)

Teaching & Research

Teaching Interests 

  • Child development
  • Working with parents
  • Creativity in education
  • Children and literacy
  • Enabling environments for adults and children

Research Interests

  • Optimising agency in education
  • Supporting social and emotional development in children

Professional Bodies

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy



Watson, N. (2014) Looking for trouble Every Child Journal 4(2) pp 44-52

Hodgkins, A. and Watson, N. (2017) Chapter 2: Learning to Learn in an H.E. Context, in Studying for your Early Years Degree, (Musgrave, Savin-Baden & Stobbs, Eds) Critical Publishing

Watson, N. (2017) Can Early Years’ Practitioners Facilitate Social Development During Conflicts Between Young Children? NZ International Research in Early Childhood Education Journal, 21 (1). pp. 17-34. ISSN 2537-7191

Watson, N. (2017) In the Moment. Nursery World, 2017 (19). pp. 26-27. ISSN 0029-6422

Watson, N. (2018) A Unique Child: By Choice. Nursery World, 2018 (1). pp. 30-31. ISSN 0029-6422

Watson, N. (2018) An Evaluation of a workshops-based intervention designed to develop the confidence of women students in managing communications with parents and carers. Worcester Learning and Teaching Journal. 12 pp.31-52

Watson, Nicola (2020) Identifying Opportunities. Early Years Educator, 22 (3). pp. 21-23.

Watson, Nicola (2020) Deep and Meaningful. Early Years Educator, 22 (4). pp. 21-23.

Watson, Nicola (2020) What happens next? Early Years Educator, 22 (5). pp. 22-24.

Watson, Nicola (2020) In praise of creativity. Early Years Educator, 22 (6). pp. 21-23.

 Conference presentations

Presentation of paper at the UW CEC Partnership Research Conference June 2015 on supporting young children’s social development during conflicts with peers.

Presentation of paper at the TACTYC conference held at the NIA Birmingham in October 2015 on supporting young children’s social development during conflicts with peers.

Presentation with Angela Hodgkins at the UW CfCF Partnership Conference June 2016 ‘Making our voices heard, children, families and practitioners’.

Workshop at the UW CfCF Partnership Conference June 2016 ‘Finding a voice as a new researcher’

Workshop at the UW CfCF Partnership Conference June 2017 ‘What can I say? Managing difficult conversations with parents’

Symposium at EECERA Conference Budapest Hungary August 2018 ‘Voice, power and emotion: the challenges of practitioner- parent partnerships’

Keynote Presentation at UW CfCF Partnership Conference June 2018 ‘A Woman’s Place in Early Years Education and Care’

External Roles