Nick Halafihi, Head of Subject

Nick Halafihi

Head of Subject

Nick is the Head of Subject for the Marketing and PR & Journalism Subject Groups.

In 2015 Nick won the University's 'Achieving Excellence' Award for 'Team Leader of the Year' and he has also been short-listed for the TES 'most Innovative Teacher of the Year' award. Nick is also a University Teacher Fellow and Principal Lecturer.

Initially trained in Sports Coaching and as a Physical Education teacher, Nick attended Leeds Beckett University before changing Universities in 1990 to support a Rugby League club transfer. This took him from Sheffield Eagles to the London Crusaders for his Rugby and Brunel University for his academic studies.

From University Nick followed a traditional career in Rugby League and played for several professional clubs before moving into coaching. This work took him to St. Helens Rugby League Club where he became the Assistant Coach to Ellery Hanley and was responsible for signing young players such as former man of Steel, Paul Wellens.

After teaching and coaching Nick moved into the senior management structure of the Rugby Football League and became responsible for implementing change as the National Governing Body's Performance Director. Nick wrote their first ever World Class Plan which brought £4.5 m into grass roots rugby, sustainability elements and elite performance strands of the game.

Later Nick developed his own High Performance Management Company and became an independent Sports Consultant for many clubs, LEAs and NGBs. This work included clients such as the RFU, the RFL, EKGB, Karate England, Wakefield Metropolitan Borough Council, Sport England and UK Sport and led to work in Strategic Management, Corporate Governance and Business profiling.

Whilst working at Leeds Beckett, Nick has been nominated for the Module of the Year (2009) and the student centred Lecturer of the year award (June 2008). He has also won several awards including the University Excellence in Employability award 2011 and was shortlisted for the Times Higher Education-Most Innovative Teacher of the Year Award (2009).

Nick is also a University Teacher Fellow and is currently a Principal Lecturer with responsibility for Faculty E-Learning, which dovetailed well with the School PL for Employability last year.

Current Teaching

  • MA Sport Business
    • Enterprise Entrepreneurship and Sport
    • L7 MIS Supervisor and Personal Tutor
  • BA (Hons) Sport Business Management
    • Professional Management and Consultancy Skills
    • Strategic Management
    • L6 MIS supervisor
    • L4, L5 and L6 personal tutor

Research Interests

A brief summary of Nick's current Ed D thesis:

Bourdieu's Culture Capital theory is about knowledge, experiences or connections that allow individuals to succeed (Ashwin, 2012). However, culture capital is always referred to as a product of education and this is supported by Bourdieu who often refers to this as an academic market (Grenfell et al, 1988:21) since university students do not gain capital as soon as they arrive at university; they do in fact develop and nurture this capital over time and bring their experiences, habits and knowledge with them as an integral part of their identity. Grenfell et al (1988) goes on to note that culture capital is connected to a general educated character, connected to objects and to institutions and individuals who accumulate cultural knowledge to enhance their social standing.

According to Winch and Gingell (2008:152) Pedagogy means the method of teaching, however this seems to be a very simplistic view since there is a wide variety of attributing factors which also influence pedagogy. According to Clegg (2011b:186) academic identities are being re-made as the nature and number of higher education institutions and their students change. It seems that a balance is required between the appropriate way to get the best out of the students and the best way to meet the needs and demands of university requirements e.g. student satisfaction surveys, DLHE statistics, high degree classifications and good levels of attendance/engagement. This evidences a chance to connect the theoretical perspective of Bourdieu with the reality of pedagogic design, content and delivery in the modern day HE sector.

Other research interests are around the student journey, e-learning and employability all of which are reflected in recent conference papers and presentations, eg Curriculum Innovations, Pedagogies for Innovation, Re-defining the Student experience, peer coaching and creative forms of personal development.

Nick Halafihi, Head of Subject

Selected Outputs

  • Halafihi NG (2012) A Personalised Curriculum Creation through Coaching at Leeds Metropolitan University.

  • Halafihi NG; Finlay J; Wood D; Kew J (2012) Student Peer Coaching Experience. Students as Change Agents in a Digital Age. In: Redefining the Student Experience, 27 April 2012 - 28 April 2012, Exeter University, UK.

  • Halafihi NG; finlay J; Wood D; Kew J (2012) Peer coaching to support student learning. Redefining the Student Experience: directions for learning, teaching and assessment. In: Redefining the Student Experience: directions for learning, teaching and assessment, 10 March 2012 - 11 March 2012, University of Greenwich, London, UK.

  • Halafihi NG (2011) Increasing Student Engagement in the Academic Curriculum-Educational Doctorate Abstract. In: Social Class and Educational Aspiration: A Postgraduate Conference and Workshop, 20 March 2011 - 21 March 2011, Reading.

  • Halafihi NG; Abrams J (2011) The Sport Business Management Unit. Inspiring Enterprise Journal-transforming Enterprise Education at Leeds Met., pp. 130-135.

  • Halafihi NG (2010) Academic reflections between Polynesian tattooing and reflective practice. The Assessment, Learning and Teaching Journal, 9 (Summer), pp. 37-41.

    View Repository Record

  • Halafihi NG; Finlay J; Wood D (2012) Bringing Personal Development to life using students as agents of change: A coaching case study of BA (Hons) Sport Business Management students (2009-2012). In: The Seventh International Blended Learning Conference, 13 June 2012 - 14 June 2012, Hatfield, UK.