John Hopton

John Hopton


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Personal profile


I have a background in mental health nursing, nurse education, social work education and social sciences and am currently a Senior Lecturer in Social Work and Nursing. I have been  teaching  on social work programmes  at the University of Manchester since December 1995 and in 2010 I  returned to teaching on  nursing programmes (in  addition to teaching social work students ). Although I am now a 'teaching focused' senior lecturer I am also a member of the History of Health and Social Care Reseach Group within the School of Nursing Midwifery and Social Work. I  also have an honorary contract witha local NHS Trust which enables me to  be  in clinical  practice as a staff nurse in an acute  mental health setting on a regular basis.


Prior to coming to the University of Manchester I had always been employed in the NHS. I worked at Prestwich Hospital in Greater Manchester from 1975 until 1981, qualifying as a Registered Mental Nurse (RMN) in 1979. I then went on to do post-registration training as a Registered General Nurse (RGN) with Bury School of Nursing, qualifying in 1983. From 1983 until 1991 Iworked at North Manchester General Hospital as a charge nurse on the mental health unit, a nurse teacher on the mental health nursing team and a staff development officer attached to the personnel department. I qualified as a Registered Clinical Nurse Teacher (RCNT) in 1986. In 1991 I moved to Bolton and Salford College of Midwifery and Nursing where I worked on a curriculum development project with clinical staff at Bolton General Hospital ’s mental health unit before joining the mental health nursing and sociology teaching groups on the pre-registration nurse education programme. During this time I attended Edge Hill College in Ormskirk and was awarded a University of Lancaster Master of Arts degree in Human Rights and Equal Opportunities in 1993. In 1993-1994 I successfully completed the Post Graduate Diploma in Health Professional Education at the University of Huddersfield which made me eligble to become a Registered Nurse Tutor (RNT) and in 1998 was awarded a PhD by the University of Lancaster . The PhD was completed at Edge Hill College and the title of the thesis was “A comparative analysis of the managerialisation of three public sector organisations”.

Since coming to the University of Manchester, in addition to contributing to social work education programmes I have in the past developed and delivered undergraduate social science modules in “Ethics and Politics of Health and Welfare”, “Psychological Approaches to Mental Health”, “The Regulation of Violence by the State” and a postgraduate social science module “Critical Perspectives on Mental Health”.

I completed a Return to Practice programme for qualified nurses during 2012 and  currently have a live registration on the NMC register.

Research interests

My main areas of research  have been the history of mental health nursing and mental health institutions, the theory and practice of therapeutic communities and critical perspectives on mental health. 

In Summer 2010 I  completed a small scale qualitative  research  project focusing on  the potential usefulness of city parks to mental health promotion strategies.


Currently my teaching is primarily focused on mental health but  I also contribute to teaching  on  social policy, communication skills, systematic approaches to nursing care  and health promotion.

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Methodological knowledge

Qualitative methods with a special interest in oral history methods.


  • RMN 1979 
  • RGN 1981 
  • RCN Clinical Teaching Certificate (RCNT) 1986
  • Certificate in Counselling (University of Manchester) 1989
  • MA Human Rights & Equal Opportunities (University of Lancaster) 1993
  • Post  Graduate Diploma in Health Professional Education (University of Huddersfield) 1994
  • PhD (Thesis: A comparative analysis of the managerialisation of three public sector organisations) (University of Lancaster) 1998

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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