PhD Education studentships

Find our more about our PhD topics

Research Grouping: Children and Families
Lead Academics: Dr Rebecca Carter Dillon and Professor Verity Campbell Barr
Project area: The Transformative Power of Education for People Experiencing Additional Challenges
Work in this area focuses on people experiencing additional challenges and how they can be supported into and through education. It draws together academics from Education, Sociology, Health and the Arts with national and local statutory agencies and voluntary and community sector organisations.
Whilst we welcome novel applications in this broad area, we are particularly interested in projects that focus on families experiencing food-insecurity and/or refugee and asylum seeker children and families, and their relationships with accessing and engaging with education. In addition, we are interested in exploring the recruitment, retention and training of the Early Years Workforce, whose job it will be to provide this support.
Research Grouping: Inclusion
Lead Academics: Dr Suanne Gibson and Dr Becky Stancer
Project area: Inclusion: finding a place for everyone in education
Work in this area is wide ranging, but particularly focuses on people’s experiences of education and how educational choices can be affected, and supported, by structural and economic issues. It brings together academics from PIoE’s Inclusion group with regional, national and international organisations involved in disability and inclusive education.
Whilst we welcome novel applications in this broad area, we are particularly interested in one or more of the following themes:
  • Disabled students’ experiences in HE
  • (Mis)placed Education: Exclusions, Missing Children and Home Elective Education
  • Educational partnerships (e.g. schools and universities) to support under-represented groups
  • Experiences of education for people with Autism
  • Inclusion and the economy – the effect of earning disparity on educational opportunity/experience.
Research Groupings: Education Policy and Pedagogy and Curriculum
Lead Academics: Dr Peter Kelly, Dr Nick Pratt and Dr Jim Hordern
Project area: Education policy spaces and their relationships with practice
Work in this area considers how formal education is shaped by place and space; both the broader cultural and historical spaces of geographical location, and the regulatory space within which education operates. Its fundamental focus is on how these spaces affect the people and educational practices that operate within them.
Whilst we welcome novel applications in this broad area, we are particularly interested in the ways in which teaching based on research evidence used in schools is shaped by the cultural and historical contexts of its location; and in ways in which regulatory frameworks – curriculum, time/space, assessment – create pedagogical spaces that shape learning at all levels of education. Projects may be set in the UK and/or in other, mainly European, countries.
Research Grouping: Adventures in Posthumanism Research Group (with Children and Families, Learning outside Formal Education and Sustainable Education)
Lead Academics: Professor Jocey Quinn and Dr Joanna Haynes
Project area: Intergenerational Learning in More than Human Places
The work in this area uses a posthuman approach to explore how intergenerational learning troubles notions of age, identity and place. It connects current research on invisible education beyond formal spaces, including lifelong learning in dementia, with work on intergenerational philosophy and post-age pedagogies. This is linked to the Adventures in Posthuman transdisciplinary international network, which brings together academics from across the Humanities and Social Sciences, postgraduate students, artists and informal educators, alongside the university’s wider expertise in marine/coastal environments.
Whilst we welcome novel applications in this broad area, we are particularly interested in applicants who can contribute to a project aiming to bring older people and children together in post-verbal and post-age learning encounters, particularly where these encounters involve water/coastal places.
Research Grouping: Centre for Sustainable Futures
Lead Academic: Dr Paul Warwick
Project area: Education for Sustainable Development
Work in this area will be focused around the Centre for Sustainable Futures in Education (CSFe) and based within the University’s pioneering Sustainability Hub which is a new collaborative space for sustainability research, education and partnerships.
Whilst we welcome novel applications in this broad area, we are particularly interested in sustainability and climate change education, regenerative learning, rewilding education, applied and participatory pedagogies for civic engagement, and whole-institution/systems thinking approaches to learning for Sustainability.