Staff Profile


Professor Symeon Dagkas

Head of School of Human and Life Sciences

School: School of Human and Life Sciences

Campus: Canterbury

Tel: 01227 921955

Profile summary

Symeon is a Professor in Sport, Physical Activity and Society and the Head of School of Human and Life Sciences. Symeon previously held positions at the University of East London; Birmingham University and Greenwich University.  Symeon is also an Honorary Senior Research fellow in the School of Social Policy at the University of Birmingham.

Symeon’s research on inclusion, health inequalities and the promotion of opportunity in, from and through sport and physical activity for young people and their families has an international perspective and reach. Symeon is currently interested in research examining overlays of disadvantaged mainly social class, race and ethnicity in young people and their families from low socioeconomic backgrounds. In addition, he is interested in examining the promotion of physical activity for health through structured environments such as school and PE syllabi and unstructured settings such as community sport and physical activity to young people living in deprivation. His major focus has been on the engagement of disadvantaged and minority groups, particularly the improvement of health outcomes of BME groups. The impact of his work in advancing understanding of the social, environmental and cultural determinants in disadvantaged groups in accessing sport, physical activity health and well being opportunities has had both policy and practical implications and as mentioned above has been cited and adopted internationally. 

For an appointment please contact Ilse Surridge, School Secretary and Assistant to the Head of School of Human and Life Sciences:

01227 921955

Research and knowledge exchange

Symeon had numerous invites as a guest speaker to present and discuss elements of his work and its impact in world leading institutions as well as leading conferences in the field of sport pedagogy; human movement studies and physical education. Symeon has published over 85 research papers in international peer review journals and conference proceedings. Symeon’s grant activity has attracted funding from the Department of Health; London Sport Organisation; Birmingham City council; Newham Council; Redbridfge Council to name a few. Symeon’s (and colleagues) guidance report from his funded project entitled ‘Inclusion of Muslim Girls in PE and School Sport’ was adopted by the UK national Association for PE as evidence of good practice for inclusion; and also recently by colleagues at University of California San Diego and the Pediatrics and Medical Science Schoo

Selected funded projects include

 2016 Redbride Council Evaluating the FITT programme (PI)

2015 Hackney Council Improving Outcomes for Young Black Men: An evaluation (Co-I)

2015 London Sport Organisation Female Coaches: A qualitative analysis of determinants (PI)

2015    Civic Engagement Developmental Grant, Developmental grant, UEL Igniting school based research through civic engagement: Improving the health and wellbeing of children and young people in East London (Co-I)

2013-2014 Newham Council and activeNewham (NECaSP Project) Newham Every Child a Sport Person: A Process Evaluation (PI)

2011-2012 Oxford Academy Exploring social determinants to physical activity participation of disadvantaged young people: A Process Evaluation of the Oxford Academy (PI)

2008–2009 Birmingham City Council, Birmingham Advisory Support Services (BASS) Improving inclusion of Muslim girls in physical education (Co-PI)

2005 – 2006 Department for Educational Skills & Department for Health & Youth Sport Trust Follow up evaluation of the schools on the move project (Research Assistant)

2004–2005 Department for Educational Skills & Department for Health & Youth Sport Trust    Evaluation of the ‘School’s on the Move’ project (RA)

Teaching and subject expertise

Symeon has developed curriculum material through his career and taught many modules in his previous posts. Currently he is contributing some sessions to level 5 & 6 modules.  

External activities

External Standing and Esteem Factors

Reviewer for ESRC

British Education Research Association (BERA). Member of the organizing committee of the Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy Special Interest Group

Active Member of the Association Internationale des Ecoles Superieures d’Education Physique (AIESEP, International Association for Physical Education in Higher Education)

American Education Research Association (AERA)

Editorial Board Member of the Educational Review journal and member of the international board of Sport, Education and Society Journal.

Reviewer for International Council of Sport Science and Physical Education; Education Historica; Journal of Sport Sciences; European Journal of Physical Education Review; Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy; BMC Public Health; Journal of Teaching in Physical Education; International Review of Sociology of Education; Sociology of Sport Journal; Teaching and Teacher Education; Ethnicities; Journal of Physical Activity and Health; Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health; Research Quarterly in Exercise and Sport; Social Inclusion; Health Education Journal; Journal of Gender Studies

External Examiner BSc Sport Studies, Liverpool Hope University (2012-2015)

External Examiner MA in PE, Leeds Beckett University 

Publications and research outputs

  • Dagkas, S., & Burrows, L. (2016). Families, Young People, Physical Activity and Health: Critical Perspectives (eds). London, Routledge
  • Dagkas, S., & Armour, K. (2012). Inclusion and Exclusion through Youth Sport (eds). London: Routledge
  • Azzarito, L., Macdonald, D., Dagkas, S., & Fisette, J. (May 2016). Revitalizing the PE social-justice agenda in the global era: Where do we go from here? Quest DOI: 10.1080/00336297.2016.1176935
  • Bangsbo, Jens; Krustrup, Peter; Duda, Joan; Hillman, Charles, Andersen, Lars; Weiss, Maureen; Williams, Craig; Lintunen, Taru; Green, Ken; Hansen, Pete; Naylor, P; Ericsson, Ingegerd; Nielsen, Glen; Froberg, Karsten; Bugge, Anna; Lundbye-Jensen, Jesper; Schipperijn, Jasper; Dagkas, S.; Agergaard, Sine; von Seelen, jesper; Østergaard, Charlotte; Skovgaard, Thomas; Busch, Henrik; Elbe, Anne-Marie (2016) The Copenhagen Consensus Conference 2016: Children, Youth and Physical Activity in Schools and during Leisure- Time. British Journal of Sports Medicine, O; 1-2
  • Curry, W., Dagkas, S., Wilson, M. (in press) Levels and patterns of physical activity and sedentary time among superdiverse adolescents in East London: A cross-sectional study. Ethnicity and Health 
  • Dagkas, S, (September 2016). Problematizing social justice in health pedagogy and youth sport: intersectionality of race, ethnicity and class. Research Quarterly in Exercise and Sport.
  • Curry, W., Dagkas, S., Wilson, M. (in press, iFirst March 2016) Newham's Every Child a Sportsperson School-based Intervention in East London, UK: A Process Evaluation. Journal of Physical Activity and Health


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Last edited: 05/12/2017 03:57:00