Malcolm Noble: BA (Leicester), MA (Leicester), PhD (Edinburgh)

Dr Malcolm Noble, History Tutor

BA History (Leicester)
MA Urban History (Leicester)
PhD Economic and Social History (Edinburgh)
Fellow Society of Antiquaries of Scotland
Fellow Higher Education Academy


  • Transition Manager for the College, responsible for managing our move towards offering accredited programmes in federated partnership with the Co-operative College.
  • History tutor, currently offering courses on the history of the book.
  • Community Explorer Project member

Teaching Areas

I teach British, European and Imperial history after 1700, and very open-minded about what forms this might take. I have a particular interest in teaching book history and analytical bibliography.

I have taught at the Universities of Leicester and Edinburgh. Most, but not all, of my teaching experience has been with adult learners, for whom co-production and co-design of learning is an obvious choice.

Research Areas

My principal research interest is in the historical finance of urban government and the bounding of the state at local levels. I am working on a monograph based on my thesis with a working title of: Bankrupt! Urban government under pressure, Edinburgh 1820-70. Questions about the limits of the state, the public and the private have underpinned much of my work, including the history of Morrison Construction.

My next major project will be concerned with nostalgia and public history, drawing on hauntology and the work of Mark Fisher. I have worked on a broad range of other topics including popular street literature, street names, and various aspects of Leicester’s history. I am also interested in the preparation of scholarly bibliographies, which I have compiled for Urban History and the History of Education Society – see my list of publications below. I am compiling one on Edinburgh for the Old Edinburgh Club which will be available soon.

As a practitioner and researcher, I have worked extensively on Co-operative Higher Education (CHE), with interests in both institutions and pedagogies. Beyond co-operative pedagogies, I have worked on teaching in very small groups, and am interested in the implications of guilt and shame about historical events in the classroom.


Please do not hesitate to email for access, as in many cases I can provide a PDF


  • Co-operative College University Working Group, 2016-2018.
  • Member of Interim Academic Board, Co-operative University Project, Co-operative College, 2019-present.
  • Founder Member, Leicester Vaughan College Limited, 2017-present; Director and Secretary, 2017-19.
  • Membership of CERN (Co-operative Early Researchers Network) 2019- present.
  • Conference Committee Urban History Group.
  • Vodcasting Urban History (New Teaching Initiatives Fund, University of Leicester) 2009-2010. Samples at:

Recent Conferences and Workshops

  • Small group learning in a teach out: a practice-based research exercise, with Miriam Gill, ‘Lifelong Learning and the Pedagogy of Hope’, SCUTREA, University of Sheffield, July 2019.
  • ‘Leicester Vaughan College’ Co-operative Education, Past and Future, Co-ops East Midlands, July 2019.
  • Self-governing communities of scholars? Securing a future for adult education through co-operation, Canadian Association for University Continuing Education, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, May 2019.
  • ‘Vaughan Centre for Lifelong Learning Learning (Very) Small Groups project: exploring a practice-based tool-kit’, with Miriam Gill, UALL, University of Wolverhampton, Telford Campus, April 2019.
  • ‘Developing co-operative Higher Education materials: an interactive activity’, Co-operative University Information Day, Manchester, Co-operative college, March 2019. Invited.
  • ‘Responses to the Great Fires of Edinburgh, 1824’, Fires and Communities in the Early-Modern and Modern Periods, Maison Française d’Oxford, February 2019. Invited.
  • ‘The Practicalities and pedagogies of adult learning co-operatives: Vaughan resurgam’ with Richard Hall, SCUTREA, University of Sheffield, July 2018.
  • ‘Good things coming in very small packages: an interim report on toolkits for very small group teaching’, with Miriam Gill, Discovering Teaching Excellence, University of Leicester, July 2018.
  • ‘Sense and sensitivity: the ethical implications of oral history interviews for business histories’, Oral History Society, QUB, June 2018.
  • ‘Square pegs and round holes: the governance of co-operative higher education under the Office for Students, Co-operative Education Conference, Manchester, May 2018.
  • ‘The political economy of municipal boundaries: rates, responsibilities and rivalries, Edinburgh and Leith 1830-1860’, Economic History Society, Keele University, April 2018.
  • ‘Haunted by the past, dismantling the future: nostalgia as public history’, Imagined Futures: Unsettling Scientific Stories, University of York, March 2018.
  • ‘Co-operation is the answer: how to save adult education for the last time’, University Association for Lifelong Learning’, Dowling College, Cambridge, March 2018.
  • ‘Leicester Vaughan College: a new kind of higher education institution in an established tradition’, with Miriam Gill, Making the co-operative university: new places, spaces and models for learning, Co-operative College, Manchester, November 2017.
  • ‘Rudolf Bing and the establishment of the Edinburgh International Festival in civic, national and international perspective’, Opéra sans frontières: Musicians and migration in a globalised world, OBERTO conference, Oxford Brookes, September 2017.
  • ‘The challenges of building co-operative HEIs’, with Fenella Porter, RED Learning Co-operative, UK Co-operative Studies Conference, Northumbria Business School, September 2017.
  • ‘Co-operative by design: co-operative pedagogies for higher education’, with Mike Neary, University of Lincoln, UK Co-operative Studies Conference, Northumbria Business School, September 2017.
  • ‘From bad TV to good history: facing colonialism through media representations to resolve a barrier to learning’, Discovering Teaching Excellence, University of Leicester, July 2017.
  • ‘Teaching very small groups: developing alternative classroom activities’ with Miriam Gill, Discovering Teaching Excellence, University of Leicester, July 2017.
  • ‘Beyond franchise reform: the challenges of reforming local government in Edinburgh, 1833-56’, Revolution, Reformation and Re-formation, Institute of Historical Research, June 2017.