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Hilary Smith

Senior Lecturer in Playwork

My career began on an open-access adventure playground in Cardiff where my passion for play was ignited. Chevron icon


My passion is supporting children, young people and students in their quest for fulfilment; be that through play, dance and/or performance. My career began on an open access adventure playground in Cardiff where my passion work with young people was ignited. For the past 20 years my work has focused on the development and delivery of higher education qualifications that meet the needs of an ever changing industry.

My current areas of research interest focus on student wellbeing in the University environment.


  • PGCert: PGCHE: University of Gloucestershire, 2004
  • BSc: Recreation Management, Cheltenham and Gloucestershire College of Higher Education, 1992

Membership of professional bodies

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Teaching & Research


Hilary teaches across a variety of subject areas and levels including undergraduate and postgraduate research methods, career development, creative practice and dissertation supervision.


Hilary's research interests are in the realm of children’s play and links with physical literacy, health and wellbeing. Recent research projects include Sharing Memories of Adventure Playgrounds and The Art of Wellbeing: a participatory study with playworkers and children at play.


More publications from Hilary Smith can be found in the Research Repository.

External responsibilities

Academic Link Tutor for South Gloucestershire and Stroud College (Courses in Dance, Drama and Performance, Musical Theatre, Specialist Media Make Up)

Academic Link Tutor for Swindon College (Courses in Specialist Media Make Up)

Subject for media interview

Children, play, dance

External examining

Edge Hill University, BA (Hons) Leadership and Management in Children’s Services (2011-2015) UEL FdA Therapeutic Playwork (2006-2010)