Dr Julie Stirrup


  • Senior Lecturer in Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy

Please call the press office on 01509 223491 to arrange an interview with Dr Julie Stirrup. Bookings can also be made online at globelynx.com.

Julie completed her English and Sport Science BA (Hons) degree and PGCE in PE at Loughborough University. On graduating she taught in a secondary school in the Midlands whilst completing her master’s in Physical Education and Sports Pedagogy part time. In 2011 Julie started her doctoral studies focusing on the area of early years and physical development, gaining her PhD in 2015. Following completion of her doctorate, Julie took up a lectureship in Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy at Loughborough University within the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences.

Julie’s work focuses on exploring and understanding how the complex relationships between policy, curriculum and pedagogy come to shape the ways people experience physical education across a range of contexts, from the early years through to secondary education.

Julie’s research interests lie in exploring and making sense of the interactions and transactions between curriculum, pedagogy, practice, and knowledge within the context of physical education across informal and formal schooling. Her research specifically focuses on issues relating to equity and inclusion. Conceptually this research is informed by sociological and educational theory, specifically the work of Bernstein.

Julie has published in academic and professional journals, authored book chapters, and edited a book: Critical Pedagogies in Physical Education, Physical Activity and Health. In addition, she has presented at international and national physical education conferences as well as practitioner and parents early years workshops.

Examples of projects Julie is currently involved with include:

  • Cross-border curriculum learning in PE
  • Marginalised youth and grassroots sport: Promoting retention and reducing dropout (International Olympic Committee funded project)
  • UNESCO QPE project
  • Early years Physical Development
  • Role of external providers and primary PE                                             
  • Transition from primary to secondary PE
  • SEND/SLD and Physical Education

Julie is keen to support doctoral research projects in these and related topics areas within PE and youth sport, and welcomes applications from potential students. She is also happy to engage in consultancy for external partners around these topic areas, having acted as an expert consultant on several education- and sport-related projects previously.

  • Co-convener of the British Educational Research Association’s Special Interest Group in Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy
  • National Physical Literacy Expert Panel member
  • Reviewer for a number of journals in the fields of physical education, sport pedagogy and exercise, including Sport, Education and Society; Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy; the Journal of Teaching in Physical Education; the European Physical Education Review

Featured publications

Journal Articles

  • Stirrup, J., Sandford, R., and Duncombe, R., (2014/online), ‘Intensive Mothering’ in the Early Years: the cultivation and consolidation of (physical) capital, Sport, Education and Society

Book Reviews

  • Stirrup, J., and Wiltshire, G., (2014), Ethnomethodology at play, Sport, Education and Society, 19(4): 507-512
  • Stirrup, J., and Damant, E., (2014), Critical Pedagogy, Physical Education and Urban Schooling, Sport, Education and Society, 19(5): 687-689


  • Stirrup, J., (2014) Embodying Bernstein: Early Years Learning (EYL), Social Class and the Corporeal Device, 8th Basil Bernstein Symposium, Nanzan University, Nagoya, Japan
  • Stirrup, J., (2013) Health and early years learning: a Bernsteinian analysis BERA Conference, 2013, University of Sussex
  • Stirrup, J., (2012) Physical activity and the importance of early years learning, IYS Conference, 2012, Loughborough University
  • Stirrup, J., (2012) ‘Intensive mothering’, early years learning and children’s orientation towards the body, physical activity and health, BERA Early Careers Research Conference, 2012, University of Manchester