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Photo of Dr Caroline Keenan

Dr Caroline Keenan

Associate Professor

01326 255473


Stella Turk Building G2:06


I am Director of Education and Student Experience for the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences which is situated on our main campus in Cornwall. I have the pleasure and privilege to lead the education team here and to work with such a dynamic and engaged group of staff and students here to create an environment in which everyone in our diverse community of learners can flourish.

I am also an Associate Professor of Law and Legal Education. I  absolutely love teaching law and working with students in an active way where we all contribute to the experience. I specialise in ensuring that Criminal law, Environmental Law and Family law  are taught as  living interdisciplinary subjects through role play and project work. Ihave worked in several law schools in Russell Group universities over the last twenty years and have won awards for my teaching, including Academic Fellowship of the Inner Temple. I have convened a range of modules, at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, from large core subjects to small specialist group teaching. During this time I developed my interest in inclusion in the teaching and learning of law and active, student-lead learning. My research and practice now centres upon the supporting student learning  at degree level, blending face-to-face and online environments.

My research has always been inter-disciplinary, examing how people use and understand law in action.  I have conducted research for the Home Office which contributed to major reform of the law on sexual offences and in procedures relating to the prosecution of offences against children. I wrote (with Laura Hoyano) Child Abuse:  Law and Policy Across Boundaries, which won the first Inner Temple Book Prize for Outstanding Legal Research. Most recently (2014-2017) I have been a Senior Research Fellow in the Environment and Sustainability Institute, University of Exeter, Penryn Campus, Cornwall, researching human conflict relating to the environment. I have also practiced as a mediator, (from 2014-2018) specialising in family disputes.

My on-going current research projects are in learning design and delivery (with Dr Karen Kenny (Academic Development) and Dr Steph Comley (Technology Enhanced Learning) and in embedding skills learning into the curriculum with Yoshi Pakalkaite.


PhD, University of Sheffield, 1994
The Development of the Law and its Implementation in the Investigation of Child Abuse
ESRC Postgraduate Scholarship and University of Sheffield Scholarship

LLB (Hons. 2.1), University of Sheffield, 1991
Graysons’ Prize for Family Law

Senior Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy 2020

Higher Practicing Certificate in Mediation (Legal Aid Board accreditation), Family Mediation
Council, 2016

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Research students

Caroline can supervise undergraduate Dissertations and Research Projects for students based at the Penryn campus in the areas of criminal law and criminal justice and family and child law including family justice.  

She supervises masters and doctoral students in environmental justice, child protection and learning design. 

Contact: Caroline is also happy to discuss with students forming their own proposals in these and related areas.  Please email me to arrange a meeting:

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Modules taught

  • LAW1016C - A Legal Foundation for Environmental Protection
  • LAW1040C - Criminal Law 1 Foundations
  • LAW1041C - Criminal Law 2 Companies and Organisations
  • LAW3016C - Legal Response to Environmental Destruction
  • LAW3017C - Land Law

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Current Director of Education and Student Experience Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Exeter, Cornwall (Penryn) Campus

Jan –May 18- INTO University of Exeter,  Law Foundation Programme Coordinator.

Dec 14–Dec 17. Environment and Sustainability Institute, University of Exeter
• Research Fellow on ESRC grant Doing TB Differently
• Senior Research Fellow. Local decision-making and Knowledge Exchange in Bovine TB
• Visiting Research Fellow. Social Impact Assessment of Isles of Scilly Seabird Recovery Project

Jan 14 - Dec 17 Accord Mediation, Truro, Cornwall
​​​Mediator, including for high conflict family mediations. Legal Aid qualified.

Oct 13–Oct 14. University of Bristol Law School.

Oct 11–Jul 12. University of Birmingham Law School, Senior Teaching Fellow

Oct 09–Oct 13. University of Bristol Law School. Senior Teaching Fellow

2007–2009. Parental leave career break

2004–2007. Queen’s University Belfast, School of Law. Lecturer in Law

2002–2003. University of Durham, Durham Law School. Lecturer in Law

1995–2002. University of Bristol Law School. Lecturer in Law

2000 - Visiting Professor at Washburn University, USA

Jul 2000- Aug 2001 Visiting Research Fellow at University of Waikato, New Zealand

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More information

My legal hero is Constance Baker Motley, a civil rights lawyer who fought nearly every important civil rights case in the United States for two decades and then became the first black woman to serve as a federal judge. She excelled in the quiet, painstaking preparation and presentation of lawsuits that challenged racial segregation across the United States. Her legal victories including in the landmark school desegregation case of Brown v. Board of Education in 1954 meant that Gov. George C. Wallace of Alabama and other staunch segregationists yielded, kicking and screaming, to the verdicts of court’s ruling against racial segregation.

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