Alan Farrier

Alan Farrier

Research Fellow

School of Community Health and Midwifery

Brook Building, BB328

+44 (0) 1772 89 5118

Subject Areas: Psychology, Sociology, Criminology and Policing, Education, Public Health

Alan is an experienced qualitative researcher who has worked on a variety of health and wellbeing research projects with young offenders, people with mental health issues and other socially excluded and marginalised groups. He is interested in a range of psychosocial research methods, including narrative-based interviewing and analysis.

He is a member of the Healthy & Sustainable Settings Unit, SusfoodNW, Psychosocial Research Unit, the UCLan Criminal Justice Partnership and the UCLan Arts and Wellbeing Network.

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Full Profile

Alan is researcher working in the Healthy and Sustainable Settings Unit (HSSU) at UCLan, which he joined in 2014. His current work includes an evaluation of the new social spaces created within UCLan and a variety of collaborations with the Psychosocial Research Unit at UCLan. Previous work for the HSSU includes: developing a strategic framework for maximizing the potential for collaboration between the voluntary, community and faith sector and public sector in Lancashire; an evaluation of engagement and practice in the UK Healthy Universities Network; an evaluation of a community sustainable food model in Yorkshire; an evaluation of the Greener on the Outside for Prisons programme in the North West of the UK; a healthy settings strategic review of Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council. He teaches on several undergraduate and postgraduate modules and is on the supervision team of three PhD students.

Previously Alan has worked as an evaluation consultant for Groundwork UK, conducting research and providing evaluation support to health and wellbeing projects throughout the North West, North East and Midlands. He has also worked in the Psychosocial Research Unit at UCLan, the Medical Services Research department at the University of Liverpool and the Post-16 Studies Unit at the University of Manchester. He has lectured and tutored on a variety of modules on Sociology, Cultural Studies, Public Health, Social Work and Media Studies courses at UCLan, University of Manchester and University of Salford.

Alan has a PhD in Education, examining cultural constructions of masculinity in educational contexts outside of the mainstream. He is currently on the supervision team of three PhD students. In 2011, the evaluation report of the ‘Who Cares?’ programme (promoting wellbeing and social inclusion in museums and art galleries), which Alan co-wrote, received an award for excellence in research from the Royal Society for Public Health.


  • PhD Education, University of Manchester, 2005
  • MA (Econ) Sociology, University of Manchester, 2000
  • BSc (Hons) Sociology, University of Salford, 1998


Farrier, A., Baybutt, M. and Dooris, M. (2019) Mental health and wellbeing benefits from a prisons horticultural programme, International Journal of Prisoner Health, 15(1): 91-104.

Baybutt, M, Dooris, M. and Farrier, A. (2018) Growing Health in UK Prison Settings. Health Promotion International. day037, Published:29 May 2018.

Dooris, M., Farrier, A. and Froggett, L. (2018) Wellbeing: The Challenge of ‘Operationalising’ an Holistic Concept within a Reductionist Public Health Programme. Perspectives in Public Health, 138(2):93-99. doi: 10.1177/1757913917711204.

Dooris, M., Farrier, A., Doherty, S., Holt, M., Monk, R. and Powell, S. (2018) The UK Healthy Universities Self Review Tool: Whole System Impact. Health Promotion International, 33(3):448-457. doi: 10.1093/heapro/daw099.

Farrier, A., Dooris, M. and Froggett, L. (2017) Five Ways to Wellbeing: holistic narratives of public health programme participants. Global Health Promotion. Nov 1:1757975917732352. doi: 10.1177/1757975917732352.

More publications


  • Developing a strategic framework for maximizing the potential for collaboration between the voluntary, community and faith sector and public sector in Lancashire.
  • An evaluation of engagement and practice in the UK Healthy Universities Network.

Subject Specialisms

Alan's research background involves working on a variety of research and evaluation health and wellbeing projects, programmes and organisations. He is interested in a whole system approach, but has a particular focus on initiatives involving socially excluded and marginalised groups: prisoners, young offenders and those at risk of offending, people with mental health issues, homeless people, refugees and asylum seekers. His principle research interest is in using a multi-method psychosocial qualitative approach, including narrative-based interviewing, participant observations, audio, video and photographic data and group data analysis.

Previous Appointments

  • 2013-15 Evaluation Support Consultant, Groundwork UK (North West)
  • 2013 Research Assistant, Medical Services Research, University of Liverpool
  • 2006-12 Research Fellow, Psychosocial Research Unit, University of Central Lancashire
  • 2005-06 Research Assistant, Psychosocial Research Unit, University of Central Lancashire
  • 2002 Research Assistant, Post-16 Studies Unit, University of Manchester

Teaching Activities and Responsibilities

Lectures on the following courses:

  • HS3003 (Public Health: Delivery and Action): Connecting Public Health and Sustainability: Food                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
  • NT1028 (Issues in Sustainability): Connecting with key 21st Century Agendas / Greener on the Outside for Prisons    
  • NU4026 (Advanced Research Methods): Qualitative sampling strategies and approaches; Methods of demonstrating rigour in qualitative research; Focus Groups                
  • PG4110 (Applied Public Health: Planning and Strategies): Prisoners and Horticultural Evaluation  
  • PG4114 (Healthy and Sustainable Settings): Evaluation and Evidence                             

Second supervisor to three PhD students


Oral presentations at the following conferences:


  • Psychosocial Connections: 1st Annual Conference of APS (Preston)


  • GO Beyond Conference (Preston)
  • Innovations in Restorative Justice: Emerging Conversations Conference (Preston)
  • 4th International City Health Conference (Barcelona)


  • A symposium considering the methodological and ethical dimensions of conducting health focused social science research through and beyond prison settings (Glasgow)
  • Nature Connections 2016 - 2nd Interdisciplinary Conference: Getting Connected to Nature (Derby)
  • APS Conference 2016 - 2nd Annual Conference of the Association for Psychosocial Studies (Bristol)


  • 3rd International Health and Wellbeing With Real Impact Conference (Preston)
  • Carceral Bodies: Intersectionality and Prison Health Conference (Belfast)
  • City Health International 2017: ‘Empowerment, Engagement and Partnership: participating to develop healthy cities’ (Basel)