John Watkins

Associate Dean - Quality & Accreditation


John Watkins has been appointed as Associate Dean Quality & Accreditation in 2023. He is a member of the Campus Executive team. John is responsible for the management of quality standards and processes relating to curriculum design, development, and delivery for academic teams at Coventry University London and in support to our international partner universities. He is also responsible for the oversight of professional body accreditations across the diverse business and management related courses offered in London.

Joining the university in 2010, John’s academic career has developed in line with the growth of Coventry University London with leadership of courses, subject areas, and subject teams. Between 2016 and 2023, John was Head of Department for the largest academic department with responsibility for a portfolio of undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Management and Human Resource, supporting a thriving and diverse student community.

Prior to working in UK higher education, John specialised in Leadership and Organisation Development for Marks & Spencer plc including responsibility for the M&S Graduate Training Scheme, and the management and leadership portfolio for Head Office and UK Stores.


  • PhD registration, Coventry University UK, 2016-23
  • PgCert in Leadership Coaching and Mentoring, Chartered Management Institute UK, 2019
  • PgCert Higher Education Professional Practice, Coventry University UK, 2013
  • MSc Organisational Behaviour, Birkbeck College University of London UK, 2008
  • BA Hons Drama & English Literature, University of Kent at Canterbury UK, 1995

Professional and Industry Memberships

  • Senior Fellow Higher Education Academy, UK
  • Academic MCIPD Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, London UK
  • External Examiner at Edinburgh Napier (2021 – 2025) and Bournemouth University Business School (2022 – 2026)

Research and Consultancy

John’s research focuses on the sociology of the professions, management consultancy and human resource development.

Publications and Scholarship Activities

  • Wells, H. & Watkins, J. (2022, May 24-25). When it comes to assessment and feedback - When, Where and How actually matters: Enhancing student engagement with assessment and feedback process through an embedded approach. Learning, Teaching and Student Experience Conference - Chartered Association of Business Schools. Belfast
  • Watkins J., Zhang C., & Wylie, N. (2019, June 24-26). ‘All we do is turn you into you’ – Exploring the transformative power of HRD consultants, [Paper presentation] 20th International Conference on Human Resource Development, Research and Practice across Europe. Nottingham Business School, Nottingham Trent University, UK.
  • Rigg, C., Watkins, J., Anderson, V., & Black, K. (2017) How will HRD research be making a positive difference to people’s lives across the world? In Gold, J. (ed) The Future of HRD: Scenarios of Possibility, International Journal of HRD Practice, Policy and Research. 2 (2), 57-68.
  • Watkins, J., & Zhang, C. (2018, June 6-8). “When you’ve got it, flaunt it!” – an investigation into how Human Resource Development (HRD) consultancies construct and communicate the potential of HRD, [Paper presentation]. 19th International Conference on Human Resource Development, Research and Practice across Europe Newcastle Business School, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK.
  • Watkins, J., & Zhang, C. (2017, June 7-9). ‘What’s in a name?’ – Conceptualising the professionalism of Human Resource Development consultants [Paper presentation]. 18th International Conference on Human Resource Development Research and Practice across Europe, Universidade Europeia, Lisbon, Portugal.
  • Watkins, J. and Blissett, J. (2014, June 26-27) ‘High Flyers!,’ Celebrating Excellence: Inspiring Futures Teaching & Learning Conference, Coventry University, Coventry, UK
  • Watkins, J. (2012, April-May 28-9) ‘Intercultural Conflict and Negotiation,’ Conference on Intercultural Communicative Competence, Windesheim Business School, Zwolle, The Netherlands
  • Watkins, J. & Hoare, B., (2009) A fresh perspective on job-sharing, Talent Management Review, 3 (3), London: Osney Media

John Watkins

Coventry University joint top modern university for career prospects
University of the year shortlisted
QS Five Star Rating 2020
Coventry City of Culture 2021