Centre for Knowledge, Innovation, Technology and Enterprise

Staff Profile

Deborah Forbes




I am currently a lecturer in marketing in the MOS group at Newcastle University Business School, after joining Newcastle University in 2006. I graduated with an Economics degree and worked in manufacturing before joining the education sector where I have delivered at a post 16 FE college in addition to HE.

My research interests are focused on the Third Sector in particular the contribution of volunteers to the delivery of services.

I have lectured widely on business and marketing modules at Management; UG and PG programme levels

This includes: Introduction to Marketing; Research Methods; Marketing Communications and B2B marketing.

I currently deliver an Arts & Cultural Marketing module from a Not-for-profit perspective

I have delivered marketing workshops to the Third Sector

I continue my professional development through attending CPD events and as an active volunteer.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Lecturer in Marketing
  • Personal tutor
  • Admissions selector for UG Marketing (N500) and Marketing & Management (NN52)

Qualification & Certificates

  • BA (Hons) Economics - Northumbria University
  • MBA - University of Teesside
  • PGCE - University of Huddersfield


Current work

  • Collaboration with NUBS and NZ colleagues on the delivery of Corporate Volunteering
  • Why do individuals become involved with Steampunk

Main expertise

Over the course of my career I have been actively engaged in research and development projects. My research is set in the Third Sector and focuses on the boundary spanning role of volunteers and their contribution to society.

This research has several foci

a)  What is a volunteer – their motivations; development and management

b)  Where do people volunteer sectorally for example in cultural organizations such as theatres and libraries.

c)  Key issues in the sector - for example the role of the Corporate volunteer and the transfer of public services in the UK to volunteer delivery

This has led to the production of academic publications including journal articles and conference papers.

The Third Sector is a dynamic and fast changing domain and much of my work is applied and involves engagement with the various stakeholders involved. As a result in addition to academic outputs, impact is generated through evaluation reports, workshops, invited presentations and expert advice.

Keywords: Third Sector; Volunteering; Corporate Volunteering (ESV); Public Sector Service provision

Other expertise

Previous research - Transfer of Public services to Volunteer Delivery.

in collaboration with University of Sheffield and Northumbria colleagues. Outputs include journal article and case studies published on the CIMPSA web site.


Deliver workshops and act as consultant to not for profit organisations

Funding received

  • HEIF3 – 2006 - 8 – Investigate ESV / CV in Universities
  • SDI – 2014 - Transfer of Public services to Volunteer Delivery
  • Newcastle University - various internal research development

Postgraduate Supervision

  • Extensive experience of supervising Masters Dissertations on MBA and Masters in International/ Marketing
  • I have also served as member of PhD supervisory teams at Northumbria and Teesside Universities.

Esteem Indicators

  • Reviewer - Marketing Intelligence & Planning; Non-Profit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly; Arts Marketing: An international Journal; Non profit Management & Leadership
  • Reviewer - Marketing - Baines, P & Fill, C OUP  

Industry Relevance


Main expertise

My teaching activity draws on my marketing background; my CPD activities and research interests

I am an enthusiastic and knowledgeable lecturer. I have experience of teaching student groups of various sizes. This includes large lectures of 500 to small seminar groups.

I take an action learning approach to teaching, seeking to engage students through their own knowledge and experiences. 

Undergraduate Modules

Current - Module Leader on MKT 3095 Cultural & heritage Marketing; .

Previous – Introduction to Marketing; Buyer Behaviour; Marketing Communications; Not for Profit Marketing; Research methods;

Dissertation Supervisor

Postgraduate Modules

Includes - Guest lecturer Marketing Introduction on MA Museum Studies and delivering marketing modules: Marketing Principles; Not for Profit Marketing; Business Research Methods;

Post experience / Executive Education

A range of bespoke marketing training sessions and workshops for public and third sector organisations