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Mrs Emma Curryer

Profile summary

Professional biography

Emma Curryer joined The Open University in February 2016, first as an Associate Lecturer before being a Student Experience Manager and is now a Lecturer and Head of Department with the law school.  She teaches subjects including Criminal Law, Evidence and the SQE. Emma also leads the Criminal Justice Clinic  that is part of the award winning, Open Justice Centre. The CJC was shortlisted for a LawWorks and  Attorney General Student Pro Bono award in 2023.

Emma is a specialised criminal law solicitor who has worked in prosecution and defence for over 20 years. She was a Senior Crown Prosecutor with the Crown Prosecution Service for 16 years where she dealt with serious crime.  She has also been a defence lawyer, with a defence practice in Buckinghamshire and is a member of the criminal litigation accreditation scheme.  She has also taught Egyptology and legal history courses. She is a Mental Health First Aider.

Research interests


Emma’s research interests are based on her love of Crime, Criminal Justice, Egyptology, Literature, and mental well-being. 

Criminal law and Evidence

Emma’s research relates to her interest in criminal law together with the law of evidence. Related to this, she is interested in youth justice and how age of consent compares internationally.

Criminal Justice and the  Concept of Justice through the ages

Particularly interested in the concept of justice,  Emma also has expertise in Egyptology and is using that to complement her knowledge of crime to consider the law in the context of antiquities. She is also considering the association between criminal justice, archaeology and literature.  Part of that involves considering criminal justice through the lens of twentieth century literature , particularly the Golden Age of Detective Fiction and Agatha Christie.   This extends to research into criminal justice in Ancient Egypt and the Middle East as seen through interpretation of archaeology and literature.

Vicarious Trauma and Employability

Emma received funding to research how students, and the legal profession, can benefit from vicarious trauma training. The results of which are being discussed in an article. She has also completed a small scholarship project into employability skills gained from clinical legal education, the results of which are being discussed in a book chapter and article.


Emma has presented at various conferences including the Association of Law Teachers (2022, 2023),  European Network of Clinical Legal Education (2022), Global Alliance for Justice Education (2022) and the Agatha Christie Conference (2023).

Teaching interests

Emma brings her experience from professional practice as a criminal lawyer to her teaching. She teaches on the criminal law, evidence and SQE modules, and has taught on introduction to law and  public law and crime .  She has written materials on the crime, evidence and Justice in Action module as well as materials for the Criminal Justice Clinic.  Emma works as part of the Open Justice Centre and is the Criminal Justice Clinic lead. Emma is keen to expand opportunities for students to work on criminal law cases and is currently developing some new exciting projects.

Impact and engagement

Emma is keen to spread awareness of the importance of vicarious trauma training in the law curriculum and higher education and is exploring collaborations that achieve this. 


The Impact of Policy Work on Employability Skills in the Policy Project connected to the Criminal Appeals Clinic at the Open University (2024)
Curryer, Emma and Edwards, Carol
International Journal of Clinical Legal Education ((In press))

Navigating Vicarious Trauma: The Importance of Planning, Teaching, and Delivering Vicarious Trauma Training to support law students and the legal profession (2024)
Curryer, Emma and Mawdsley, Gillian
International Journal of Clinical Legal Education ((In press))

Innovative ways of developing communities and enhancing students employability skills in the online university environment (2024)
Curryer, Emma and Edwards, Carol
In: Milmore, Amanda ed. How to Include Employability in the Law School (pp. 133-146)
ISBN : 9781035302307 | Publisher : Edward Elgar Publishing | Published : Cheltenham