Staff Research Interests

Our staff have a wide range of research interests in the field of education.

My research interests are focused on the relations between teaching-learning and knowledge-curriculum practices in higher education. I am also interested in the relations between these practices and higher education policies as well as the relations between theories and methods in research into higher education. The kinds of questions that I explore in this research include: What counts as high quality teaching and learning in higher education? How is this positioned in policies and practices? How do we research and theorise these competing notions of quality?

View Paul's profile

Brett Bligh is a Lecturer in the Department for Educational Research. He conducts research into the connections between our material surroundings, the technologies that permeate them, and the ways we act, think and learn. Two recurring interests are how Universities design and evaluate their built environment estate to support opportunities for learning, and how very large display tools can support learners’ collaboration. More general interests include Activity Theory and collaborative learning. In 2012 he co-authored Nesta's Decoding Learning report, and was previously a member of the EU's "STELLAR" Network of Excellence for Technology Enhanced Learning. In 2010, as part of the Visual Learning Lab, he was awarded a Lord Dearing Award for innovation in teaching and learning.

View Brett's profile

My main interests are in digital technologies, social justice and in/equality. In particular, my work focusses on how inequalities may be manifested and reproduced in everyday uses of digital technologies. Previous projects have included research into digital inclusion, digital pedagogy, inclusive pedagogical design, digital literacy including online safety; and digital innovation.

View Sue's profile

My primary interest is masculinities in education looking particularly at the relationship between gender and learner identities, and the phenomenon of laddishness. I am also interested in student experience of higher education considering how student identities and lifestyles impact upon students’ academic behaviours and sense of well-being. A further interest is educational transitions (especially between secondary education and work, and school and university) and how these are influenced by individuals’ sense of self, their expectations, and the quality and nature of information, advice and guidance (IAG) they receive.

View Steven's profile

Research evaluation, Evaluation societies, Peer review processes, Societal impact (“Impact”), International and national research assessment frameworks, UK Research Excellence Frameworks, Higher Education policies, Research and innovation policies, Responsible research and innovation, Bibliometrics, Scientometrics, Altmetrics, Research governance, Evidence-based and evidence-informed policymaking, Health policy making, Research Utilisation, Public engagement, Mixed methodology, Qualitative research, Research networks, Social network analysis, Research visualisation, Text visualisation and Science communication.

View Gemma's profile

I am Lecturer in Higher Education and my research focuses on the everyday practices, personal relationships and mobilities of students and graduates. My recent book, Personal Life, Young Women and Higher Education: A Relational Approach to Student and Graduate Experiences (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015) examines the ways in which different patterns of engagement and interaction with higher education reflect and potentially redefine family bonds, friendships, romantic and sexual partnerships and peer-shared living arrangements in the context of university participation and exit.

More recently, my work has taken an explicitly mobilities focus; the Everyday Student Mobilities project ([2016-17] funded by the Society for Research into Higher Education) explores the experiences of students who commute to university (rather than engaging in semi-permanent residential mobility). This project considers the sustainability of widening participation initiatives for 'local' students, in terms of pedagogic, social, emotional, and environmental issues. The findings are to be published in a forthcoming co-authored manuscript, Everyday Student Mobilities in Higher Education: Understanding Identities, Belonging and Place-making (London: Bloomsbury Academic)

I am interested in methodologically innovative research; particularly temporal (i.e. qualitative longitudinal research), visual and mobile methods. My work has a strong focus on the interrelated experiences of social class and gender and draws on theoretical frameworks which foreground reflexivity and the relational and emotional dimensions of inequality and identity. Further interests include graduate employability and university-to-work transitions, and inter-generational issues as they relate to education.

View Kirsty's profile

I am interested in social class inequalities and education and am currently co-investigator (Lancaster P.I.) on the Leverhulme funded Paired Peers project with Prof. Harriet Bradley and colleagues, which builds upon my work at the University of Bristol. This research spans a seven year period from 2010 to 2017 and focusses on the experiences of working-class and middle-class young people as they make their way through undergraduate programs at two different universities in the same city, and into life beyond graduation.

My specific research interests are in classed and gendered identities and the impact of education on the maintenance and transformation of people's ways of being.

View Nicola's profile

My research explores aspects of gender and education. Questions I investigate include: how do learner and gender identities intersect? What motives 'laddish' behaviours? What are the advantages and disadvantages of single-sex and co-educational schools or classrooms? How do fears operate in education, and with what effects? Why is 'effortless achievement' so appealing, and is it gendered?

I have also undertaken research on the doctoral examination process, especially the viva.

View Carolyn's profile

My name in the original spelling is: Nataša (Lacković) – pronounced just like “Natasha” in English.

I am passionate about three main research themes:

1) pictorial images, art and artefact based research and practices in general and higher education, addressing educational and wider community needs; particular interest: photographs, graphic novels/comics, illustrations and street art.

2) multimodality and semiotics of teacher-student practice and research methods in higher education, cross-fertilised with selected theoretical lenses, such as critical and emerging learning theories, and

3) student/teacher/societal well-being, creativity and empowerment.

My interests also include:

  • "University-Creative Industry/Independent Artistic Associations-Community" links and collaboration, such as projects with comic artists
  • Critical views on graduate employability; graduate employability paradigm shift
  • Multiculturality and (im)migration, intercultural competencies, fluid identities, and critical exploirations on how those relate to HE "internationalisation" and "globalization"
  • Student-created (multimodal) resources and artistic acts for new conceptualisations/theorisation of learning in general and HE in particular

View Nataša's profile

My research program lies at the intersection of distance education and the internationalisation of higher education. Taking up sociocultural learning theories, I aim to provide comprehensive explanations of current higher education and improve students’ academic experiences. I am interested in the issues of accessibility and equality in different online higher education contexts and the relationships between being and learning in online learning environments. Three different educational settings in my work include: 1) open universities, 2) online doctoral programmes, and 3) oversea campuses. I am currently working on a research project named “Non-Western students’ perceptions of/experiences in UK-based distance PhD programmes”

View Kyungmee's profile

My research interests span two themes: education and social justice, and the nature of higher education. I am interested in inter-relationships between education and society, and between theory and practice. I have explored different interpretations of critical pedagogy, and particularly the ways in which conceptualisations of knowledge impact upon social justice. Much of my work is informed by critical theory, and I have a special interest in the work of Theodor Adorno. My recent work has looked at the nature of assessment and feedback the role of failure in learning including the relationship between conceptions of failure and social justice.

View Jan's profile

My research interests concern collaborative work and group discussion in digitally-mediated environments, with a theoretical and practical commitment to social justice and equity within learning communities. I draw upon Marxist and Post-Colonial perspectives, and explore the manifestations of social, historical, political, and economic Discourses in digitally-mediated environments. In particular, I am interested in understanding the ways that sociocultural elements inherent in applications of digital education operate to marginalize students who fall outside the ideations of dominant ideology.

View Murat's profile

My main areas of research focus on: Teaching and learning outcomes arising from uses of leading edge technologies, initially in primary and secondary schools, but then leading to lifelong learning practices; Exploring concepts of blended learning and implications for course and programme development; Uses of data and development of data systems to support curriculum and educational practices; How home and out-of-school (formal and non-formal learning) practices can enhance and support formal learning at an individual learner level; How technologies support young people who are at risk of learning exclusion or who are hard to reach; How evaluation and research can be undertaken to support policy and practice.

View Don's profile

I am interested in how educators and other professionals can:- learn from experience and develop competence;- learn to work together in online environments (networked learning/team training); and- adopt new technologies and design learning experiences.

I have experience of collaborating with a wide range of European science and engineering organisations to research into innovative technology-enhanced learning solutions in professional development, particularly involving video/virtual reality technologies such as simulations, games and virtual reality worlds. Previous research has involved a virtual/online laboratory for training radio-pharmacists, and 3D simulation based training for emergency response teams.

View Julie-Ann's profile

I have a broad range of research interests in the fields of higher and post-compulsory education. Over the years, these have included research into:

  • changing patterns of academic work
  • the nature of the academic experience
  • the development of higher education research
  • the history and meaning of higher education
  • alternative modes of study
  • the postgraduate and research experience
  • mature and 'non-traditional' students
  • comparative studies
  • patterns of participation
  • the role of learning in adult life

View Malcolm's profile

I am probably best known for my work on Academic Tribes and Territories. However my interests range across many areas of higher education, both substantive and methodological. These are detailed below. I am a policy sociologist, and apply that analytical lens across domains of research and evaluation which broadly concern policy production and enactment in different higher education contexts. I work with an eye to making a difference: 'enhancement' is a watchword that guides my work. I have advised institutional leaders, higher education organizations and change agents in higher education around the world for many years.

View Paul's profile

My research interests lie in two related areas:

  • gender in education, with particular emphasis on men, masculinities and teaching/caring roles in early childhood;
  • emotional aspects of children's lives in educational contexts with a particular emphasis on their ongoing construction of identity.

The linking concept between these interests is identity which I interpret as relational rather than individual.

View Jo's profile