Kate is Co-Programme Leader on the MSc in Criminology, Risk and Safeguarding (with Lula Mecinska) with a focus on Global Dimensions of Crime, and Criminology, Risk and Safeguarding. Since joining University of Cumbria in January 2017 Kate has developed modules in Social Exclusion, Social Justice, Globalisation and, Global Crime. Kate has been module leader in undergraduate modules in Sociology, Research Methods, Representations of Crime, Culture and Communities, Victims of Crime, Criminological Theory, and an employability module on Social Science Professions.  In addition, Kate was team lead for marketing and recruitment activity from June 2017 to March 2021. Kate has prior higher education experience in undergraduate and postgraduate modules in Development Studies, Sociology and Criminology.  

Prior to becoming a full-time academic, Kate had an extensive career in the voluntary and community / non-governmental sector as:  

  • Chief Executive Officer of Health and Race Equality Forum (HAREF)
  • Chief Executive Officer of Tyneside Women's Health
  • Manager of Gateshead Substance Misuse Services, Turning Point
  • Substance Misuse Treatment Effectiveness Manager for Safer Sunderland Partnership (as an external consultant)
  • North East Regional Manager AIDS Action Namibia (home based care, orphan support and palliative care).
  • National Programme Manager, Lifeline / Childline, Namibia (including managing New Start Voluntary Counselling and HIV Testing Centre and Kavango Counselling Services).
  • Co-ordinator of Tyne and Wear Arrest Referral Service (substance misuse support for people in police custody)
  • Youth Development Worker in Pennywell Neighbourhood Centre, Sunderland
  • Youth Development Worker in Greater Shankill Partnership, Belfast
  • Residential Support Worker in the Remand and Assessment Unit of Obserstown Girls Centre, Dublin.

Kate has overseen various programmes addressing domestic and sexual violence, race and gender discrimination, social exclusion, as well as support services for issues relating to mental health, HIV and substance misuse.  The experience and insight Kate has amassed in this work inform her teaching and research.  Kate's long-term participation in collective human rights activism, particularly relating to the rights of women and girls, provided the inspiration for her doctoral research topic.

In addition to Kate’s practice track record, she has long involvement in volunteering with prisoners, their families, and young people affected by conflict. 

Qualifications and memberships

In addition to undertaking doctoral research on a part time basis Kate has the following academic qualifications:

  • PG Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education
  • PG Certificate Africa and International Development
  • PG Certificate Innovation and Improving Performance (Management)
  • MSc Social Administration and Policy
  • PG Diploma Social Administration and Policy
  • BSc (Hons) Community Youth Work

Kate became a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2018 having previously been an Associate Fellow from 2016.

Academic and research interests

Kate is undertaking doctoral research on women’s collective activism on violence against women and girls. The research provides a relational analysis of women’s anti-violence activism in post conflict Namibia and Northern Ireland. A fuller range of academic interests are indicated in Kate’s conference presentations and publications. 

Research supervision

Kate has recently undertaken training in PhD research supervision at University of Cumbria, with a view to supervising doctoral candidates in future, on completion of her doctorate.



Mukungu, K. and Kamwanyah, N.J. (2020) Gender-Based Violence: Victims, Activism and Namibia's Dual Justice Systems. In Davies, P. and Tapley, J. (eds.) Victimology: Research, policy and activism.  London: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 81-131

Mecinska, L. James, C. & Mukungu, K. (2020) Criminalization of Women Accessing Abortion and Enforced Mobility within the European Union and the United Kingdom, Women & Criminal Justice, DOI: 10.1080/08974454.2020.1758868

Mukungu, K. (2019) Building a Victim Centred GBV Activist Movement across Namibia.  Sister Namibia 31:2, pp. 16-18 

Mukungu, K. (2017) "How Can You Write About A Person Who Does Not Exist?": Rethinking pseudonymity and informed consent in life history research. Social Sciences, 6(3) 86

Mukungu, K. (2016) Review of ‘The Struggle for Food Sovereignty: Alternative Development and the Renewal of Peasant Societies Today’, Herrera, R. and Chi Lau, K. (eds) Journal of International Development, 28 (7), pp 1194–1195.

Mukungu, K. (2014) ‘Third Sector Commentary: A view on neo-liberalism of the sector’. North East Third Sector Research Group 2014 Digest Review, pp 31-34.

Mukungu, K. (2014) Sustaining Livelong H.I.V. Treatment in Namibia and Beyond.  Focus Magazine, Issue 94, p3 - 4.

Conference Papers

(2018) Enforced mobility and criminalisation of women accessing abortion (with Carolyne James, Nicoletta Policek and Lula Mecinska) Paper Presented at the British Society of Criminology Conference, Birmingham City University, 3rd – 6th July, 2018 

(2018) Promoting and Assessing Student Led Learning. Paper Presented at the Learning and Teaching Fes, University of Cumbria, Lancaster, 6th June, 2018 (with undergraduate students Burns, K. Dixon, F. and Walker, N.)

(2018) Locating the Individual in Collective Activism to address Violence against Women in Post Conflict Contexts.  Paper Presented at the Women’s Paths Symposium, Women of the Global South and its Diasporas: Rights, Representation and Activism, University of Leeds, 5th June, 2018.

(2018) But What Do You Do When You Believe that the Law is Wrong?: Civil Disobedience in Pro-Choice Activism in Northern Ireland.  Paper Presented at the North East Crime Research Conference, York St. John University, York, England, 25th April, 2018.

(2018) Reforming Abortion Legislation in Northern Ireland; Threats, opportunities and political expediency.  Paper Presented at the Socio Legal Studies Conference, Bristol University, Bristol, England, 27th – 29th March, 2018. 

(2017) Challenging Violence against Women and Girls in Post-Conflict Settings: Learning from women activists.  Paper presented at the Second Annual, Global Status of Women and Girls Conference: Understanding, Defining, and Preventing Violence, Christopher Newport University, Virginia, USA, 24th – 26th March, 2017.

(2017) Acknowledging Participants in Research on Activism to End Violence against Women in Post Conflict Settings. Paper Presented at the University of Cumbria Interpersonal Violence Seminar Series, Carlisle, England, 6th December, 2017.

(2015) Grassroots Women’s Organising in the Global South. Paper presented to the Higher Education Innovation Fund events series Tackling Poverty and Inequality in the North East: learning from international practice for changing North East contexts, Newcastle, England, 29th April 2015.

(2015) Women’s Human Rights Activism in Divided Societies. Paper presented at the Human Rights, Transitional Justice and Peace Building Conference, University of Ulster, Belfast, 14th November 2015.

(2014) “No Namibian will die as a result of a shortage of funds”: sustaining lifelong HIV treatment. Paper presented at the Northumbria Research Conference, Newcastle upon Tyne, 21st May 2014

Recent external roles

Current External Examiner for Social Sciences Programmes at the University of Sheffield International College

Former External Validation Panel Member for the Social Sciences Degree Programme at Blackburn College (for Lancaster University)

Former Domestic Violence Executive Forum member for Safer Gateshead Partnership

Former Mental Health Programme Board member for Newcastle and Gateshead

Past Consultant for the Ministry of Health and Social Services in Namibia developing the National Alcohol Strategy and Policy (in 2003)

Kate has also undertaken a number of Trusteeship / Directorship roles in non-governmental organisations in NI and England working in peace-building, community development and mental health.