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Mr Dean Armstrong

Profile summary

Professional biography

Dean has been a Staff Tutor in the School of Education, Childhood, Youth and Sport (ECYS) since December 2022. Prior to this, Dean held the role of Curriculum Leader for Sport, Law, Policing and Protective Services at Newcastle College University Centre, part of the nationwide NCG group.

Dean has 15 years of experience working in higher education environments and has held roles in management, teaching, and professional services. With a varied professional background, Dean has experience of working and project-managing in several areas including inclusive sport, athlete support, exercise nutrition, performance conditioning and injury rehabilitation.

Dean also holds a raft of exercise industry vocational qualifications and still works as an exercise practitioner for select clients in addition to his OU role.

Research interests

Dean is in the preliminary stages of developing his research profile with the OU. However, the below set of statements loosely outlines the background of his upcoming research direction, investigating relationships between caffeinated energy drink consumption, sleep quality, and academic achievement:

Excessive caffeine consumption has been shown to cause restlessness, headaches, irritability, dizziness, increased resting heart rate and disturbed sleep. Needless to say, these negative effects are likely to have a detrimental impact on studying and the ability to concentrate.

According to recent findings, approximately 28% of UK adults consume caffeinated energy drinks. 21% of these consumers drink at least 4 caffeinated energy drinks per week. The main reasons for consuming these drinks are cited as “the need to stay awake” and “the need for energy”.

Recent research indicates that caffeine can have a negative effect on sleep quality up to 8.5 hours after consumption. Research has also linked chronic sleep reduction with poorer academic achievement among HE students.

With these considerations in mind, it may be pertinent for higher education students to carefully consider their consumption of caffeinated energy drinks.

Teaching interests

Dean provides extensive expertise in the field of sport and fitness, having taught on a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate topics including nutrition, injury rehabilitation, strength & conditioning, exercise prescription, sport coaching and sport development.

Dean currently provides support as Lead Cluster Manager on E117 (Introduction to Sport & Fitness), whilst also managing a cluster on E104 (Introduction to Childhood Studies and Child Psychology).