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Dr Ross Purves

Job: Lecturer in Education Studies

Faculty: Health and Life Sciences

School/department: School of Applied Social Sciences

Research group(s): Institute for Education Futures; Music Education Research Group

Address: De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, LE1 9BH

T: +44 (0)116 207 8260




Personal profile

Ross Purves is Deputy Programme Leader for BA (Hons) Education Studies. He is also Employability Champion for the Education Division.

Ross studied music at City University and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, before completing an MA in music education at the Institute of Education, University of London, and a PGCE in post-compulsory education at the University of Greenwich. After graduating, Ross worked as a computer development officer in the Department of Computer Science, University of Exeter and subsequently, as an education research officer at the University of Roehampton and the Institute of Education. Whilst at Roehampton and at the Institute, Ross worked on a series of nine music and arts outreach research projects funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council, the Department for Education and Skills and the charity Youth Music. Between 2009 and 2011 he was a research officer on the European Commission’s Seventh Framework-funded ‘Usability of Music for Social Inclusion of Children Project’.

Ross has also pursued a parallel teaching career and was Joint Course Manager for Music at Luton Sixth Form College for six years. Here he taught A Level and BTEC music and performing arts courses and co-managed large programmes of instrumental teaching and extra-curricular music ensembles.

Ross was also Subject Coordinator for the Music PGCE course offered by the Chiltern Training Group, a large school-centred initial teacher education consortium in Bedfordshire.

Ross’s doctorate focused on geographical and social impacts on instrumental music learning and involved the application of novel geospatial statistical techniques. Publications embracing musicians’ and teachers’ professional development, music technology education and aspects of human-computer interaction have appeared in journals including the British Journal of Educational Research, the British Journal of Educational Psychology, Issues in Technology and Teacher Education and the Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education. A chapter 'music technology and the educator' featured in the 2012 OUP International Handbook of Music Education. Ross has presented research at various European education conferences and is an experienced performing musician and arranger.

Publications and outputs 

Click here to view a full listing of Ross Purves' publications and outputs.

Key research outputs

Purves, R. (2012). 'Chapter 5.3: Technology and the educator', in G. McPherson & G. Welch (Eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Music Education, Vol. 2. New York: Oxford University Press, 457-475.

Welch, G., Purves, R., Hargreaves, N. & Marshall, N. (2011). ‘Early career challenges in secondary school music teaching’, British Educational Research Journal, 37(2), 285–315.(2), 285–315.

Shaughnessy, J., Purves, R., & Jackson, A. (2008). ‘Computer-mediated collaborative projects as professional development opportunities for teachers’, Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 8(4), 367-393.

Hargreaves, D., Purves, R., Welch, G. & Marshall, N. (2007). ‘Developing identities and attitudes in musicians and classroom music teachers’, British Journal of Educational Psychology 77, 665–682.

Purves, R., Jackson, A. & Shaughnessy, J. (2005). 'A longitudinal study of teachers’ professional development through an international exchange', Journal of In-Service Education, 31(3), 545-567.

Research interests/expertise

Various aspects of music education; open source software in education; the application of GIS and geospatial statistics techniques to education research; the development of children’s computer programming skills; the history of education; teachers’ professional development, particularly early career transition.

Areas of teaching

  • Arts and education
  • Gender and education
  • Culture and education
  • Technology and education.


  • BSc (Hons) Music, City University
  • MA Music Education, Institute of Education, University of London
  • PGCE (Post-Compulsory Education and Training), University of Greenwich.
  • PhD Music Education, University of London

Courses taught

  • Module leader for EDUC2322 Music in the Life of the Primary School
  • Module leader for EDUC2323 Computer Programming as a Tool for Learning
  • Module leader for EDUC2325 Technological Transformations in Learning
  • Module leader for EDUC3320 Education and the Arts
  • Supervisor for EDUC3304 Dissertation
  • Supervisor for EDUC3318 Placement Project
  • Module tutor for PERF3027 Education and Performing Arts
  • Module tutor for PERF5005 Education and the Arts

Honours and awards

  • June 1998 The Worshipful Company of Musicians prize for the outstanding undergraduate dissertation in music technology.
  • June 1998 The Worshipful Company of Mercers prize for outstanding performance in the undergraduate final year.
  • September 2000 ESRC advanced course competition studentship and bursary for MA study.
  • July 2006 Shortlisted for the Microsoft Outstanding E-Learning Practitioner, Department for Education and Skills STAR Award.
  • July 2012 Schoolteacher Fellow Commoner, Pembroke College, University of Cambridge.
  • May 2017 Vice-Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award

Membership of external committees

  • Elected member of the Musicians' Union Teachers’ Section Committe 2016-18

Conference attendance

3-4 November 2011, Universities Council for the Education of Teachers (UCET) Annual Conference Hinckley Island Hotel, Leicestershire, ‘Early career challenges in secondary music teaching’, Welch, G and Purves, R (invited paper)

24 March 2011, Sound Sense London Gathering (Social Inclusion and community music), Old County Hall, Waterloo, London, ‘An introduction to the UMSIC Project and JamMo’, Kallonen, TR, Purves, R et al (demonstration/workshop)

14 June 2011, 1st International Workshop and Summer School on Mobile Music Technology and Social Inclusion of Young Children, University of Oulu, Finland, ‘JamMo - music for social Inclusion: a practical workshop’, Purves, R (practical workshop)

7 May 2007, Music Masters Association (MMA) Annual Conference, Bedford School, ‘Distance learning possibilities in school music teaching’, Purves, R (invited paper/demonstration)

23-24 February 2006, Specialist Schools & Academies Trust Annual Arts and Music Specialism Conference, Barbican Centre, London, ‘Fibonacci meets Nosferatu: Rich tasks in mathematics and music’, Capasso, D & Purves, R (invited paper)

30 August-2 September 2005, EuroLogo 2005, OEIiZK In-service Teachers Training Centre, Warsaw, Poland, ‘An integrated, multimedia environment for the analysis of human computer interactions in Logo’, Purves, R (paper presentation) [Proceedings pp. 334-343]

May 2005, MKLearn Annual Conference, ‘Fibonacci meets Nosferatu: Rich tasks in mathematics and music’, Purves, R & Coyle, M (paper presentation)

16 April 2005, Society for Education, Music and Psychology Research (SEMPRE) Conference: Musical Creativity in Culture and Mind, Faculty of Music, University of Cambridge, ‘Exploring conceptual parallels between music and mathematics education using computer tools: a report on a preliminary study’ Purves, R (paper presentation)

22-23 October 2004, International Professional Development Association (IPDA) Conference, Birmingham, ‘What makes effective INSET? A longitudinal study of teachers’ professional development through an international exchange’, Purves, R, Jackson, A & Shaughnessy, J (paper presentation)

4-11 July 2004, 20th International International Society for Music Education (ISME) Research Seminar, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, ‘Teaching as a career? Perspectives from undergraduate musicians in England’ Purves, R, Marshall, N, Hargreaves, DJ & Welch, G (paper presentation)

12 April 2003, Society for Education, Music and Psychology Research (SEPMRE) day conference on Teaching and Learning, ‘Developing identities of music teachers: four preliminary profiles’, Purves, R & Marshall, N (invited paper)

8 March 2003, East Anglian Researchers in Music Education Day Conference, Homerton College, Cambridge University, ‘The TIME project’, Purves, R, Marshall, N & Hargreaves, D (invited paper).


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