Dr Julian North, Professor

Dr Julian North


Julian is the Director of the Research Centre for Sport Coaching, and a Reader in Sport Coaching.

He has been a social and sport researcher for approaching 30 years in a variety of policy, practice and academic roles in the UK and Australia. He previously worked for UK Coaching (Director of Research, 2003-2010), the Australian Sports Commission (Research Consultant, 2002-2003) and UK Sport (Research Manager, 1999-2002). Before that he undertook social and business research in a number of organisations and universities. He has also undertaken freelance consultancy work for a variety of public and private clients.

Julian has considerable experience conducting and commissioning a wide range of research projects using different philosophical and methodological strategies and has authored numerous articles, books, book chapters, and reports in sport, coaching and beyond (see publications below and J North profile on Research Gate). His client list includes the European Union, the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee, UK Sport, Sport Scotland, UK Coaching, the Football Association, British Gymnastics, the Rugby Football League, the British Canoe Union and GB Canoeing, and many others. He is strongly connected to the International Council for Coaching Excellence (ICCE), sitting on the ICCE’s Research Committee. Please get in touch if you interested in connecting with the Research Centre for Sport Coaching, and the ICCE’s Research Committee.

Current Teaching

Julian teaches research philosophy, methodology and method on the MSs Sport Coaching degree and Professional Doctorate in Sport.

He has a number of current PhD and Professional Doctorate supervisions but if you are interested in studying coaching practice, coach development, and/or coaching policy using a critical realist (or other non-foundational, relational, mainly qualitative) approach at PhD level please get in touch.

Research Interests

Julian undertakes research and consultancy work on coaching practice and effectiveness; coach learning, development and education; coaching policy and systems; and player development, and linked systems.

His academic work, and consultancy, has mainly focused around the application of critical realism and realist evaluation to sport coaching in terms of original work and evaluations.
He has recently undertaken long term ethnographic case study research (usually up to 2 years in length) in kayak slalom, triathlon, and swimming using an embedded, relational and emergent (ERE) framework (North, 2017).

He also conducted realist evaluations on both coach education for UEFA and British Gymnastics, and coach developer training for Sport Scotland.
Please get in touch if you are interested in research services and consultancy support.

Dr Julian North, Professor

Ask Me About

  1. Coaching

Selected Outputs

  • North J (2017) Sport coaching research and practice: Ontology, interdisciplinarity and critical realism. Routledge.

  • North J; Piggott D; Lyle J; Lara-Bercial S; Muir R; Petrovic L; Norman L; Abraham A; Shaw W (2016) Research study on the UEFA Coaching Convention: A research report for UEFA.

  • North J (2009) The coaching workforce 2009-2016.

  • Lara-Bercial S; Bales J; North J (2021) Coaching around the world: On becoming a profession. In: Resende R; Gomes R ed. Coaching for human development and performance in sports.

  • North J; Piggott D; Lara-Bercial S; Abraham A; Muir B (2019) The professionalisation of sport coaching. In: Thelwell R; Dicks M ed. Professional advances in sports coaching: Research and practice. London: Routledge, pp. 3-21.

  • Fletcher TE; Piggott D; North J (2017) Problems at the boundary’? South Asians, Coaching and Cricket. In: Sport, Leisure and Social Justice.

  • North J (2016) Benchmarking sport coach education and development. In: Allison W; Abraham A; Cale A ed. Advances in coach education and development. pp. 17-29.

  • North J (2013) A critical realist approach to theorising coaching practice. In: Potrac P; Gilbert WD; Dennison J ed. The Routledge Handbook of Sports Coaching. London: Routledge,

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