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Dr Susan Cooper

Associate Professor

Institute of Education

01752 636700 Ext:5241

Susan Cooper

Role Summary



  • Educational Doctorate from Exeter University
  • MA in Applied Anthropology and Youth and Community Work from University of London (Goldsmiths)
  • PG Certificate in Learning and Development Certificate in Youth & Community Work UCP Marjons
  • JNC Qualification in Youth Work (Westhill College, Birmingham)
  • HEA Fellow, Member of The Association of Lecturers in Youth & Community Work Education.


  • BA and PG level Youth & Community Work
  • MA Professional Practice including Supervision and Evaluation


My research interest is in the process and practice of evaluation, particulary participatory methodolgies. My doctoral research enabled me to develop an innovative methodology, Transformative Evaluation, that supports, develops and extends practice and practitioners and organisations.



Cooper, S. (2018) Participatory Evaluation in Youth and Community Work, Oxon: Routledge


Book Chapters

Cooper, S. and Gretschel, A. (2018) ‘Evaluating youth work in its contexts’ in P. Alldred, F. Cullen, K. Edwards and D. Fusco (Eds) The Sage Handbook of Youth Work Practice, London, Sage Publications

Cooper, S. (2018) ‘Living Together’: Making the most of the residential experience in outdoor and adventure education’ in T. Jeffs and J. Ord (Eds) Rethinking Outdoor, Experiential and Informal Education, Oxon: Routledge

Cooper, S. (2012) ‘Evaluation: Ensuring accountability or improving practice?’ in Ord, J. (ed) Critical Issues in Youth Work Management, Abingdon: Routledge

Cooper, S. with Grace, P., Griffiths, G. and Sapin, K. (2012) ‘Re-Balancing Supervision’ in Ord, J. (ed) Critical Issues in Youth Work Management, Abingdon: Routledge


Journal articles:

Cooper, S. (2015) ‘A collaborative assessment of students & placement learning’ in Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education,

Cooper, S. and Ord, J. (2014) ‘Developing know hoe’: A participatory approach to assessment of placement learning’, Journal of Vocational Education and Training, Vol. 66(4), pp. 518-536

Cooper, S. (2014) ‘Putting collective reflective dialogue at the heart of the evaluation process’ in Reflective Practice, Vol. 15(5), pp.563-578.

Cooper, S. (2014) ‘Transformative evaluation: Organisational learning through participative practice’ in The Learning Organisation, vol. 21 (2).

Cooper, S. (2011) ‘Reconnecting with evaluation: The benefits of using a participatory approach to assess impact’ in Youth & Policy, Vol. 107, pp. 55-70

Cooper, S. (2007) 'Teaching values in pre-qualifying youth and community work education’ in Youth & Policy, Vol. 97/98, pp. 57-72.


Conference papers:

Cooper, S. (2015) Transformative Evaluation. Understanding the Impact of Youth Work, Conference at the University of Gloucestershire, June 2015

Cooper, S. (2015) Transformative Evaluation: Understanding process and progress. Perspectives on Evidence in Youth and Community Work Conference, Centre for Youth Impact London, March 2015

Cooper, S. (2014) Collaborative Assessment: Joys, Challenges and a Way Forward?, The Professional Association of Lecturers in Youth & CommunityWork Annual Conference, Back to the Beyond A Progressive Pedagogy for Youth and Community Work, Newman University, Birmingham, June 2014

Cooper, S. (2013) Transformative Evaluation: Realising the Potential of Evaluation in Achieving Sustainable Change. Paper delivered at the Australasian Evaluation Society Conference: Brisbane, Australia, September 2013

Cooper, S. (2013) Transformative Evaluation: Combining Learning and Accountability through Participatory Practice. Paper delivered at the UK Evaluation Society Annual Conference: Evaluating to Make a Difference, University of London, April 2013

Cooper, S. (2012) Transformative Evaluation: The process of developing the model. Paper delivered at the Collaborating for Impact: How higher education and social purpose organisations can work better together, Plymouth University, November 2012

Cooper, S. (2012) Transformative Evaluation: Changing the way we think about evaluation. Paper delivered at the International Conference on Youth Work and Youth Studies, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow August 2012

Cooper, S. (2010) Reconnecting with evaluation: Some encouraging signs coming from the implementation of a participatory approach. Paper delivered at the TAG conference, Durham University, July 2010

Expert Membership of professional bodies


Roles on external bodies


Other Interests


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