Marjon News

Former United Nations advisor joins Marjon’s Social Sciences department

Released: 11.01.19


Dr Gregory Borne has joined Plymouth Marjon University to head up the new Social Sciences degree.

Dr Borne joins Marjon having led both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes at the University of Plymouth as well as leading on international and local research initiatives. Dr Borne will now be the Course Lead for Marjon’s BA (Hons) Social Sciences programme, as well as lecturing on the BA (Hons) Journalism and Sports Journalism courses.

A graduate from the Open University, where he gained an interdisciplinary social science degree, Dr Borne has previously worked with the United Nations Environment Programme advising on various aspects of sustainable development and has also lectured at the University of St Andrews in Scotland on their innovative sustainable development degree programme.

“I’ve worked in a number of universities and what excites me about being here at Marjon is the smaller, community feeling you get to university life,” said Dr Borne.

“I’ve only been here for one semester and I can already see that the support for staff and students is really quite phenomenal. The small class sizes that Marjon offers really does make a huge difference to students’ ability to interact with their lecturers and their learning environment.”

Dr Borne arrives at Marjon with a wealth of social science experience behind him, from work with Surfers Against Sewage, the UN and Devon and Cornwall Parish Councils, among others. It’s that varied body of work that Dr Borne hopes to draw on to inspire the next generation of social scientists.

“There’s three key areas the programme looks at. It’s got sustainability, interdisciplinarity and co-construction of knowledge as part of its foundations,” said Dr Borne.

“As soon as I read the programme specification I thought this is a fantastic programme and I’m so glad it’s something I’m able to help take forward.

“Interaction with students where lecturers don’t just stand there and give knowledge was really important to me. I am strong advocate of the idea of education for sustainable development with an emphasis on transformative as opposed to transmissive learning. It’s about creating an interactive dialogue with students that builds all of our knowledge bases. I want the lectures to act as an interactive forum where we discuss topics together and understand issues as a collective.”

With such a varied workplace background, Dr Borne is a case-in-point of some of the places a social science degree can take you and it’s that enthusiasm for the subject the he wants to help take his students to reach new heights and broaden their horizons when it comes to career options after their studies.

Dr Borne continued: “You can go in to all sorts of different areas with a social sciences degree, whether that’s in industry, government, community work, charity work or something else you are passionate about. The programme provides students with a set of skills which are hugely transferable. In the second year of the degree you’re doing work placements which means you can start to focus in on the areas of the subject that interest you most.

“The programme allows students to deal with complexity, uncertainty and paradox and not be scared to embrace that because that’s what the world is about.

“The relationship between theory and practice on the course is very strong. Students get a very good grounding in some of the important theoretical principles and concepts that exist within social sciences. These theoretical insights are combined with actually doing the job and engaging with people and communities which is an important part of the degree. There’s also a strong emphasis in the programme on students becoming active researchers and going out there and creating knowledge, I can’t wait to play my part in that with the students.”

Find out more about Marjon’s Social Sciences degree.

Find out more about Dr Gregory Borne


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