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Paula Benton

Assistant Professor

Department: Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing

I am a Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader for BA Hons Guidance and Counselling and have taught at Northumbria University for over 13 years.  My teaching and research interests include counselling skills and approaches, research methods, professional practice, employability and career development theory.

My previous professional background is Career Guidance and I worked as a Careers Adviser in the North East of England, specialising in careers education.  I went on to becomea Senior Manager with responsibility for staff development for the Connexions service in Northumberland where I developed accredited guidance programmes for a range of professionals in education, work based learning, youth and adult community settings. I developed several nationally acclaimed projects to develop guidance within secondary and post 16 education, wrote for national and international guidance publications and won 2 ICG National Career Awards for innovation in the field of career guidance.

In my current role, I continue to work closely with partner organisations to develop good quality career guidance in the North East region.


Paula Benton

I am a Senior Lecturer and Programme leader for BA Hons Guidance and Counselling. 

Throughout my 13 years at Northumbria University, my interest in facilitating student transition to, through and beyond university has led to a number of innovative projects to enhance teaching and learning in this area. Research interests stem from my previous professional background in career guidance and focus largely around career development and employability. I am particularly interested in how experiential learning develops self-efficacy and informs career and graduate identity.

Examples of research projects I have led include an exploration of students’ perceptions of employability at different stages of study and a project which examined the graduate transitions of Psychology, Sports Science and Society Joint Honours alumni.  I am in the process of researching early career experiences of Guidance & Counselling graduates and also currently involved in research to explore the efficacy of online peer mentoring as a way of supporting the transition of first year students to university. 

I work in partnership with a number of Local Authorities, schools and colleges across the North East to advise on the latest research, policy and practice in career development and pastoral support.  I am also a founding member of a regional Career Guidance Professional Practice Network which promotes and develops best practice in career guidance and investment in the future career development workforce.

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Career development learning in higher education: how authentic work experiences and opportunities for career exploration canincrease self-efficacy and inform career identity, Benton, P. Apr 2015, In: Journal of the National Institute for Career Education and Counselling
  • An Evaluation of Integrated Services for Young People, Graham, P., Benton, P., Rice, G., Hemmings, P. 2010

  • Academic Studies in Education MA (Hons) November 18 2015
  • Teacher Training City andGuildsLevel 1 June 30 2000
  • Careers Guidance PGDip June 30 1995
  • Social Studies/Science BA (Hons) June 28 1991
  • Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy SFHEA 2017

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